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From the collection of the 

7 n 


San Francisco, California 



Founded 1815 


HARRISON SMITH, Associate Editor 





S o o o 

"Bear (Herman 

The most daring journalistic coup of the century hundreds 
of thousands of letters mailed to German citizens within 
Germany from England telling them the truths about their 
country which are hidden or distorted by Goebbels and his 
propaganda machine. Since July these letters, signed by 
Stephen King-Hall, have been pouring into Germany. Some 
are intercepted, but most reach their destinations. The Living 
Age for September publishes for the first time in this country 
excerpts from these dramatic letters, as well as Goebbels' 
enraged replies. 

This brilliant scoop is typical of The Living Age's reputation 
for authentic, exciting inside news. For The Living Age is the 
only magazine in this country which culls the very best in 
stories, articles, poems, book reviews, from the foreign press 
for the benefit of thoughtful American readers. In these 
turbulent times, you need the sane, impartial, authoritative 
guidance of 


The World in Review 


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City and State 



Table of Contents 


HOW MAY THE WEST SURVIVE? William Allen White 1 

TWO WOMEN Henry Seidel Canby 18 

EDITORIAL CONFERENCE [A Dramatic Satire] . . Charles Angof 33 


OF THE CONCESSIONS Walker Matheson 41 


JEFFERSON IN PARIS Marie Kimball 73 

I WANT TO GO TO WAR ! Reginald Wright Kaufman 87 

CAN A WOMAN BE A DIPLOMAT? Herbert Wright 100 

SOME OF OUR BEST PEOPLE George J. Hexter 109 


EPIC OF ENDURANCE Fairfax Downey 140 

WE BUILD A MERCHANT MARINE .... Brockholst Livingston 151 

EVEN IN CHURCH Herman Keiter 162 

ART Christopher Lazare 174 

MUSIC Katharine Scherman 182 

DRAMA Charles Angof 188 

CINEMA Vince Hall 190 

BOOKS 198 

The NORTH AMERICAN REVIEW: Published quarterly by The North American Review Corporation. 
Publication office, Rumford Building, Concord, N. H. Editorial and executive office, 420 Madison 
Avenue, New York, N. Y. Price $1.00 a copy; $4.00 per year; Canada, $4.25; foreign countries, $4.50. 
Entered as second-class matter Dec. 18, 1920, at the post office at Concord, N. H. , under Act of Congress 
of March 3, 1879. 

Copyright, 1939, by The North American Review Corporation: Joseph Hilton Smyth, President; 
John Pell, Treasurer; David M. Figart, Secretary. 

Title registered U. S. Patent Office. 

Contributors 5 Column 

WILLIAM ALLEN WHITE has long been regarded as a Will Rogers of 
journalism, a beloved philosopher of the West. He is the proprietor 
and editor of the Emporia Daily and Weekly Gazette which is always 
enlivened by his shrewd yet kindly comment. His latest book, Puritan 
in Babylon, was an excellent study of that frost-bitten nonentity, 
President Coolidge. 

HENRY SEIDEL CANBY was an instructor in English until he became 
editor of the Saturday Review of Literature in 1924. After twelve years, 
Mr. Canby relinquished that post and has since been one of their 
contributing editors. He is chairman of the board of judges for the 
Book-of-the-Month Club. Houghton-Mifflin are publishing his 
newest book, Thoreau, of which "Two Women" is a chapter. 

It seems to us that a woman who has had published about seventy- 
five articles would be a professional writer, but MARIE KIMBALL 
assures us that writing is one of her hobbies. Her vocation is being 
the wife of Fiske Kimball, director of the Philadelphia Museum, 
and her avocations include cooking (she publishes in women's 
magazines her culinary discoveries) and translating. Her literary 
expeditions began when she translated articles for the San Fran- 
cisco Chronicle at twelve years of age. 

The list of books written by REGINALD WRIGHT KAUFFMAN looks 
somewhat like a publisher's book-list. He has been associated with 
Saturday Evening Post, Delineator and Hampton's Magazine on their 
editorial staffs, was a war correspondent, and, as well as serious 
books and novels, he has written much juvenile fiction. He is also 
the author of numerous screen plays. 

HERBERT WRIGHT'S business is international law, so he should 
know the angles on diplomacy. He is a member of the executive 
council of the American Society of International Law, and has 
spent the last nine years as head of the department of politics at 
the Catholic University of America. 

Continued on page vi 

The Greehs Had 
a Word for It! 

Democracy! Everyone talks about it! 
Millions have abandoned it, and 
the freedom of action and speech 
that go with it. Millions of men 
would fight for it. 

Here is a book that will make this 
worldwide conflict of ideas intelligible 
to Americans. 

The Impasse 
of Democracy 

by Ernest S. Griffith 

Dean of the American University Graduate 


Contains probably the most concrete program yet advanced for saving 
the essential features of our American democracy. 

Dean Griffith lays particular stress upon the dangers of government 
continuing to cater to special interest groups. On the other hand, he is 
well aware of the other equal dangers inherent in a return to free compe- 
tition or in still further government intervention. He presents a striking 
plan for self-government in key industries, but with full representation 
of labor, consumer, and other interests in the process. 

Dean Griffith's residence in Washington has made possible a first- 
hand study of these changes. The new role of the administration, the 
decay of Congressional government, the changing nature of the judicial 
process, and the almost complete passing of federalism are among the 
topics dealt with at length. 

Publication Date-September 18, 1939. 
Order from Your Bookstore or from the Publisher. 

Harrison-Hilton Books 

420 Madison Ave. 

New York City 


GEORGE J. HEXTER is a free lance journalist who has contributed 
articles on industrial relations to trade papers. He is also co-author 
of a book entitled What's Tour Allergy? which is scheduled for Fall 

FLETCHER PRATT started out as a librarian and followed the path of 
most aspiring young writers by working as a newspaper reporter. 
After three years Mr. Pratt branched out on his own and started 
free lancing. He became profoundly interested and well informed in 
naval matters when writing for The Naval Institute's publication, 
and he has dealt with sea power in most of his books. He has been 
published extensively, and came out with his first book, The Heroic 
Tears, in 1934. Harrison-Hilton Books will publish his next, entitled 
Sea Power and Tomorrow's War. "The Battleship Comes Back" is a 
chapter from this new book. 

Fresh out of Yale in 1916, FAIRFAX DOWNEY served with the Yale 
Batteries as lieutenant in the War. Immediately after the war he 
married and joined the staff of the Kansas City Star where his jour- 
nalistic career began. He has had published eight books and his 
name has travelled far through articles which have appeared in 
many magazines. 

Two years ago, after spending nine years abroad in the American 
Foreign Service, BROCKHOLST LIVINGSTON resigned from the service, 
and he has since made a close study of our shipping policies. Articles, 
discussions and book reviews of his have been published in the U. S. 
Naval Institute Proceedings ever since he was nineteen. 

Since 1936, HERMAN KEITER has been a professor of Religion and 
Religious Education at Hartwick College. For five years before that 
appointment he was Pastor of a church in Chicago. He has had one 
book published, An Experiment With Measurement Scales in a Curriculum 
Unit of World Civilization (1934) and has two more in the fire, these 
on religious subjects. Articles by Rev. Keiter have appeared in 
various denominational publications. 

"It Is Not Enough to be Well- In formed 
It Is Necessary to Understand!" 

Caesar writing his Commentaries on the Gallic Wars Socrates 
talking in the market place Erasmus writing in Oxford cloisters 
all were commentators; all were men who had something to say 
which would help their fellow-men to understand. 
So with The Commentator. It is a magazine of commentators of 
every kind. Most are famous writers, men and women of affairs, 
top-flight experts in every field. They do not write the old-style 
long article but short, up-to-the-minute, dramatic stories, which 
are published one to two months before the digests get them. Ultra- 
successful men and women find they cannot do without this modern, 
streamlined magazine. 

Coming in The Commentator: 

Hitler Slave to Astrology 


The amazing story of the sword-swallower turned 
astrologer, who has been the Merlin of Nazi 

Do 'Those Operations' Ruin Wives? 

A personal document of one woman's libido. 

Britain Grooms America for War 


The facts about the new flood of British Government 

. And 


Features, articles, fiction, book and motion picture 
reviews, personal documents. 



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JVof to Be JMissed! 

A swift -moving novel of WPA and the down -at -heels side of 
American life an anthology of love poetry from Shake- 
speare to Dorothy Parker a dramatic account by a naval 
expert of the part that navies will play in the next war 12 
case histories of dipsomaniacs by a renowned specialist in 
alcoholism these are four of the books contained in the 
exciting and varied First Fall List of Harrison -Hilt on Books, 
a new publishing unit formed by the Publishers of the North 
American Review. 

You Get What You Ask For 

by Norman McLeod 

The Compleat Lover 

by William Geoffrey 

Sea Power in Tomorrow's War 

by Fletcher Pratt 

Twelve Against Alcohol 

by Herbert Ludwig Nossen, M.D. 

*You may order these books in advance of pub- 
lication from Harrison-Hilton Books, Inc. 


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Quarterly Comment 

A YEAR AGO, as the Fall edition of the North American 
Review went to press, there was a crisis in Europe. 
Then came conferences, appeasement, and a thin hope 
of "peace within our time." Now, once again, the final 
days of Summer are hot with tension; there is the same 
frenzied massing of troops, the same last minute calling 
home of nationals, the same plot and counter-plot. And 
this year there is another crisis, only now it is Danzig 
instead of Prague. The names and places have changed, 
that is all. 

It might be pertinent at this time to reprint an editorial 
note from an earlier issue of the North American Review, 
an editorial that runs: 

"We cannot close this article without saying a jew words on 
the present prospects oj Europe. One great advantage seems a 
certain result; the world must, in some degree, be regulated 
as formerly, by a balance oj power. The most prominent 
evil of the times, in which we have lived, has been the constant 
tendency oj events, to throw the whole power of the world into 
the hands oj two nations. France obtained the land, and 
England the sea; till at length the former was engaged in a 
direct attempt to undermine the power oj the latter, by destroying 
the intercourse oj nations, and cutting off the commerce oj the 
continent, when a succession oj wonderful events utterly sub- 
verted her plans, and reduced her at once to her ancient limits, 


which twenty years of successful war had so widely extended. 

"In the new arrangement of Europe, Russia and Prussia 
act in unison, Austria and England second each other's views; 
France opposes them all; on some questions joining with 
Austria and England against Russia; at others with Russia 
and Prussia against England. Prussia accedes to the wishes of 
the Russians for Poland; on having her support in acquiring 
part of the Saxon territory, and stretching her arm to the Rhine. 
England having no jealousy of Austria on the water, assists her 
schemes of aggrandizement in Italy, she giving a quitclaim of 
Flanders, to the Prince of Orange, who uniting this to Holland, 
makes a considerable kingdom in appearance, but a weak one 
in reality, as the Dutch and Flemings have long had a strong, 
mutual animosity, founded in part on a difference of religion. 
The country, having very little natural strength on the French 
frontier, is defended by the largest fortresses in the world, but 
which require enormous expense, and large armies for their 
support. Unless Holland could recover her monopoly of commerce, 
which seems impossible; it would hardly be politick for her to 
maintain such enormous artificial works; on the one side her 
dykes to defend herself from the fury of the ocean; on the other 
these Flemish fortifications to oppose the ambition of France, 
as restless, turbulent, and encroaching as the waves of that 
ocean. The Poles, the Saxons, the Dutch, the Flemings and the 
Italians are all dissatisfied, and all protest against these 

"There is apparent in these plans, a total disregard of the 
rights of the weaker people, and a general spirit of extending, 
rather than of improving the dominions of the larger powers. 
If the smaller states are doomed to be swallowed up, the monopoly 
of four or five will not insure tranquillity, and after having 
devoured others, there will be new contests for the destruction of 
one another. After all that may have been gained, by the wide 
spread of intelligence, and the removal of some abuses, Europe 


may perhaps be incurably diseased. Loaded with impositions, 
crippled with debts, either actual bankrupts, or on the eve of 
becoming so; devoured with enormous standing armies, polluted 
with the desires and habits of war, there is no solid hope that the 
miseries oj'its inhabitants can have any termination" 

THE FOREGOING WAS PUBLISHED a century and a quarter 
ago, in the first volume of the North American Review. 
The War of 1812 had just been brought to a close. 
Andrew Jackson had won his victory at New Orleans, 
and the British blockade of New York had ended with 
the arrival of messengers, on February 11, 1815, with 
terms of the British-American peace treaty signed seven 
weeks before in Ghent. 

What has the history of that century and a quarter 
been? What advance has been made, what lessons have 
been learned, what mistakes, once made were profited 
by and since avoided? 

We in America are fortunate in being able readily to 
evaluate our history. We can see what things we have 
gained, in our rapid material progress, and what things 
we have lost. We hear democracy criticized today by 
various foreign powers as an impractical and slovenly 
method of government, but we have seen how that system 
has lasted through the years, how it has, with no great 
strain, accomplished what is apparently impossible in 
Europe. For we have seen diverse races and creeds and 
nationalities intermingled in this land of ours, and the 
result has been good. America has prospered, despite 
gross inefficiency at times in our national management; 
America has thrived and grown, notwithstanding that 
more often than once it has been plundered and looted by 
public servants. 

And the reason for this may well be that there is rugged 


strength in the American ideal of democracy, that there 
is merit in the theory that men of differing antecedents 
can live in close harmony and kinship. 

There is hope for America and in that hope lies the 
future of civilization. 

The recent history of Europe is another matter. The 
same century and a quarter that saw the onward march 
of the United States saw but little political advance in 
Europe. The editorial written by William Tudor II, in 
May of 1815, could be written as justly today. For during 
those hundred and twenty-five years, two struggles have 
been going on the humble man's struggle for democ- 
racy and freedom, and the struggle for power. 

In Europe the struggle for power has always won. 

It may indeed be true that Europe is incurably 
diseased. Twenty years ago we assisted in providing a 
temporary peace, a peace that in these past few years has 
proved more costly to the spirit of man than a dozen 
wars. We have seen every canon of human decency 
violated; we have seen moral obligations disregarded, 
small nations sacrificed, an entire race of people subjected 
to the bloodiest pogrom in the history of "civilized" 
times. We have been told that had we joined the League 
of Nations much of this would not have taken place, but 
weak indeed must be a continent of nations that needs the 
moral lash of a schoolmaster three thousand miles away. 

Twenty-five years ago we were asked to interfere, in 
the cause of democracy, in Europe. Undoubtedly we 
will soon be asked again. But this time we should ask in 
reply, "Just what democracy do you mean? Just what 
guarantee have we that the 'democracy' for which you 
plead so eloquently is the democracy for which 125,000 
Americans once sacrificed their lives in vain? Isn't it 
actually a struggle for power for which you want our aid?" 


In that struggle for power we should not we cannot 
be interested. Power is a temporal thing, as evidenced 
too often in the past. Power alone is no foundation on 
which to build up a future. It may be argued that once 
power is assured, democracy and human liberty will 
follow, but this is not necessarily so. Certainly it is not 
the principle on which the United States grew to im- 
portance in the world. And we cannot welcome the 
prospect of a future in which, every second decade, we 
must sacrifice American wealth and American lives 
for the preservation of a trouble-breeding balance of 
power on the European continent. 

It is more than possible that that struggle is a hopeless 
and an insoluble one. It has gone on too long. It has cost 
too much. The harvest from the seeds of discord sown 
in the Europe of today will be reaped in the generations 
to come, a harvest of hatred and bigotry and spiritual 

America was built up by the thousands that in the 
past sought escape from all this. Our country is no less 
a refuge today than it was a century and a quarter ago, 
when the first issue of this magazine appeared. Europe 
contributed to the building up of America only in so far 
as it gave our ancestors an incentive to reach out for new 
lands and a new life. Our democracy came into being 
because the governments of Europe were the reverse of 
democratic; out of the suppression and strife of the old 
world came the freedom and tolerance of a new order. 

Today America is in danger of losing its heritage. 
The political chaos of Europe has already found reflection 
within our borders; the very qualities on which we pride 
ourselves liberty and tolerance and individuality 
are daily being threatened. 

This is not the America for which our forefathers 


worked. It is not our destiny to be a raucous echo of 
Europe's bickering. Our first duty, to ourselves and to 
mankind, is the preservation of our ideals within our own 
borders. It is a compliment to our national pride to be 
asked to help dominate a world gone mad, but is a com- 
pliment too costly for us to accept. 

As long as Europe concerns itself primarily with a 
struggle for "balance of power," there will be no lasting 
peace within its borders. The picture has not changed 
from that presented by the first editor of the North 
American Review. There is still a total disregard for the 
rights of smaller people, still new contests between major 
nations for the destruction of one another. 

In 1939, as in 1815, there is no solid hope that the 
miseries of its inhabitants can have any termination. 


The Eminent Editor Surveys the 
Future of Western America. 


May the West Survive? 


Two THOUSAND YEARS AGO, the young philosopher 
who was the founder of what by broad courtesy 
has been called Christian civilization, stood on a rise of 
ground under a great cliff at the top of a talus slope roll- 
ing toward the Sea of Galilee. There he delivered the gist 
and epitome of his life's creed. It was called the Sermon 
on the Mount. He was a skilled and powerful dialecti- 
cian. That Sermon, which apparently he had prepared 
with all the rhetorical power of his ardent nature, was 
destined to be his message to mankind. The message of 
the Christ became the philosophical groundwork of a 
civilization that took his name. 

It was not accidental then, but with artistic premedita- 
tion, that he opened this Sermon with the words "Blessed 
be the poor in spirit!" For the whole drift and tenor of 
his life and teaching urged men to that modesty, that 
abstention from pride and arrogance, that simplicity and 
nobly gentle candid courage in meeting life which is so 
well designated by the phrase "poor in spirit." Of 
course, there on the Mount, beside the Sea of Galilee, 
Jesus of Nazareth set forth no hard and fast rules of con- 
duct; no minute directions for living did he proclaim. His 
sermon was an exhortation, the statement of an ideal, an 


ideal which, alas, no man or no people ever has realized 
and which probably he knew never would be fully trans- 
lated perfectly into human conduct. 

In considering the survival of the West as we know 
that area of the United States, beyond Pittsburgh and 
Buffalo, on across our land through the Great Valley of 
the Mississippi, over the mountains to the Pacific, I like 
to think that men who moved into this area have been 
coining there for one hundred fifty years less hampered 
by tradition, less circumscribed by the lariat of formal 
legalities and less bound by priest or authoritative creed, 
by social and economic restrictions than were the men of 
any other great movement of human population in 
recorded time. They were free, these pioneers of our 
American West. The rising price of land, when they 
touched it with their plows, furnished for a century an 
increment which released the people in that area and 
kept them decently free from unnecessary penury and 
man-made poverty. Indeed that increment shall we 
say unearned increment? of the land of the west, 
brought prosperity to this whole nation, North, South 
and West. 

While the flood of humanity from the other American 
states and from Europe rolled westward over this new 
land, great fortunes were made in those valleys, from 
those mountain mines, out of those rich prairies and upon 
those bleak and beautiful plains. Wise institutions were 
established in the West, rich commonwealths were built 
up, and a decent approximate of just and equitable liv- 
ing was established there among men. For fifty years at 
least, one might say broadly, but not exactly, of course, 
that in the civilization which our pioneers founded, were 
not rich nor poor. Certainly only one class, the middle 
class, persisted. 


The middle class lived for a generation or two upon 
the bounty of a virgin land, a land of veritable milk and 
honey. The people of that great hegira to the West did 
not realize whence the prosperity came which made 
their justice possible. They were open-handed, neigh- 
borly, kind, munificent in their beneficences, even toler- 
ant of rapacious scoundrels and, in many cases, regal in 
their institutional grant to rascals, because the people 
living on the rising prices of land could well afford to be 

But withal, the Westerners did keep to the middle way 
of life. They did set up as their ideal of conduct a decent 
respect for the opinion of mankind, along with a lively 
sense of the blessings before them, and a rather keen ap- 
preciation of their own importance. Of course they liked 
to brag. In prosperity, the best of us struts a bit. But for 
all of their outer brag and bluster, these Western men 
and women were "poor in spirit." For them, this West 
was in truth the Kingdom of Heaven, and they loved it. 
They cherished their West in affection for a century and 
a half. But today they are baffled, bewildered and heart- 
sick at the inequities of this wide world which now 
threaten and challenge their life. I mean those deep, 
economic and social wrongs which mock their philoso- 
phy and which assail their democratic claims. 

IN THAT FAIR LAND out there which they love so well be- 
cause it has been kind to them, because it has sustained 
three or four generations in the wilderness which they 
conquered and because it has made what passes in their 
hearts at least as a Utopia, they ask themselves why 
should all this perish? Amid their doubts and conflicts, 
the children of the pioneers cry out. " We thought we had 
established the work of our hands under God somewhat 


following, though blindly and falteringly, the faith that we 
found in the little white church, the free church standing 
beside the little red schoolhouse, the free schoolhouse. 
And yet there on the horizon we see this great cloud of 
danger. What shall we do to be saved?" 

Probably the answer will have to come from the little 
red schoolhouse. But the answer will come only if the 
little white church holds the fort of its faith in God and 
men in the fellowship of mutual aid, faith in some kind of 
democratic equality of opportunity. The increment of 
the land which kept men free no longer is the rock of 
their social and economic salvation. No longer can the 
prosperity of our country float upon the increase in the 
price of the virgin earth. 

Indeed we have fairly well demonstrated that the land 
itself which furnishes the food, the clothing and the 
housing of our nation is not self supporting. At least land 
is not self supporting in the style to which we have been 
accustomed. If our farmers are not to be degraded into a 
peasantry, if they are to remain in the middle class en- 
joying the purely physical privileges and immunities, the 
educational advantages and the intellectual development 
of the middle class, we must fertilize the soil; we must 
even subsidize in some way the business of farming. How, 
Heaven knows ! I have no solution for the farm problem. 
But the problem is here. Being here, it advertises the end 
of reliance upon the earth and the fullness thereof to keep 
the economic machinery of this nation going. Working 
to its full, the broad acres of this land, not only of the West 
but of the entire country, would not produce more than 
enough to keep the population of the United States upon 
a level comparable with that of the American middle 

It is obvious then that if the West survives we must find 


some way as a nation, particularly applicable to those 
vast areas that we call the West some way to produce 
more goods and chattels. We must increase production if 
the West survives. Sweeping aside social vision and eco- 
nomic theory, getting down to the cold, hard truth about 
production, it may be truthfully said, I think, that the 
only way to increase production in this land, East, West, 
or South, is to get more power out of fuel. We are now 
getting, say between thirty-five and thirty-eight percent 
capacity out of our fuel. It may be likely, in the next dec- 
ade, that we may bring that saving of power from fuel 
up to forty-five. Possibly in a generation we may raise it a 
few points more. 

The raising of these points in the percent of power we 
can get out of fuel would add tremendously to our stock 
of goods. To increase the power of fuel even a few percent 
would add a considerable mass to our production, a mass 
quite comparable to the annual increase in the increment 
of the land of the nineteenth century. This increment 
kept the West busy and established in our land a pros- 
perity out of which for more than a hundred years we 
could afford a greater approximate of justice in human 
relations than any other nation in the world could main- 
tain. And let me repeat, we used this increment so well 
under our social philosophy and with our middle class 
intelligence, that despite what rascals stole and what 
wasters scattered, we erected for one hundred fifty years 
a standard of living here and an ideal of justice under 
liberty that was the envy of mankind. 

Without our philosophy, let us call it frankly our re- 
ligion for our democratic faith was our religion, a 
phase of the Christian religion it is fair to say that we 
could not have set up a schoolhouse to keep us literate 
and as a people to hold us fairly wise. Without that demo- 


cratic philosophy which wisdom sustains, aggrandized 
power would have arrogated to itself such a percent of 
the growing land increment that another civilization 
might have come here, a hard, cruel civilization like that 
which the Spaniards planted to the South of us. Under 
a philosophy of force, setting up tyrants on this new land 
of the West, a civilization might have been built here 
wherein our common prosperity would have been di- 
vided among barons and profiteers and doled out to a 
race of slaves. 

But the very freedom which we sought, the very justice 
which we yearned for, the very basic philosophy of our 
faith that made our morals and shaped our conduct, gave 
us the West that is. Heaven knows, it is far from perfec- 
tion. The poor in enforced idleness today are crying for 
justice that comes with work. Today our democracy is 
challenged. Tomorrow it may be rejected. But we have a 
right to ask patience of those who challenge, for we are 
seeking the only way out. 

We are trying in a thousand laboratories all over the 
land to produce more power. When the laboratories 
yield their secret, and when power is increased to pro- 
duce its increment, may we not reasonably expect that 
the increment of increased power will produce justice 
under a philosophy which has worked, not perfectly, but 
humanly well in the last hundred fifty years? As we go 
into the employment of the many inventions that spring 
from the mind of man, shall the philosophy of force or 
the philosophy of reason be depended upon to distribute 
that new power? Shall the philosophy of force diverting 
that power to armament, chain us as it is binding Europe 
to a low standard of living and to the cruel injustices 
thereunto appertaining? Shall we abandon our demo- 
cratic faith in the new era, the era of scientific progress, 


this coming new pioneering era that rises like a dream 
come true from the embryo conceived in the little red 
schoolhouse? "Is democracy sufficient to hold science in 
the ways of justice?" That question contains in its answer 
the destiny of this thing we call the West. 

WHAT is THE PROBLEM down at the roots of it? Essentially 
it is an industrial problem. If we establish industry upon 
an equitable basis, we shall have done the best we can do 
for the farmer. For an equitable basis in industry pre- 
sumes that labor shall no longer be sold in an open mar- 
ket as a commodity. If we are to distribute the benefits 
and blessings of the growth of power which will increase 
our production, we must give to labor a new status. 
Lincoln, with a scratch of the pen, started the political 
institutions which unshackled American labor. When 
labor was emancipated, under Lincoln's impulse, when a 
man could sell his labor in an open commodity market, 
our fathers said seventy-five years ago, "At last man is 

But man is NOT free today, offering his labor in a com- 
modity market. Man cannot bargain alone with any- 
thing like equality, justice or fraternity, with a buyer of 
labor who represents a great .corporate industry. The col- 
lective bargaining power of labor must be firmly estab- 
lished. Only that firm establishment of the collective 
bargaining power of labor will give labor self respect. 
But with that self respect must come an increased share in 
the products of labor. Then the self respecting working 
man may consume up to his capacity the things that shall 
come pouring out of the mills and factories as well as the 
products of the American farm in the new day when we 
shall enlarge the productive capacity of man by squeez- 
ing more power out of fuel. 


What will stop that increase in the consuming power 
of the manual worker? It seems to me that the chief im- 
pediment just now to industrial progress is the arrogance 
of the owners of the tools of industry. I believe in capital- 
ism. I do not believe in a proletarian ownership of the 
tools of production. It has not worked under the tyran- 
nies of Europe, neither in Russia, nor in Central, nor in 
Southern Europe. It will not work here. 

Labor really asks little. When a man decides to be a 
worker, when consciously or unconsciously he makes the 
decision not to go after money and the power of money as 
his life's first aim, but instead elects to live by the work of 
his hands, right then and there the average American 
worker indicates rather definitely that he will be happy 
with a middle class status. By a middle class status, I 
mean exactly this: a decent house equipped with modern 
comforts and a few luxuries, plenty of good food, re- 
spectable clothes, an education for his children which 
shall include high school and, if the son or daughter de- 
sires it, a college education. In addition to these decen- 
cies working men require and are beginning to demand 
security against sickness, old age and unemployment. 
These things, these rather simple middle-class blessings, 
will satisfy labor. And if the working man has these ele- 
ments of self-respect, they will make labor a sufficient 
consumer to take up the slack in the consumption of goods 
that will come out of the new powers that men shall 
wrest from the forces of nature. 

WHAT HOLDS BACK the realization of that ideal? It is the 
employers' fear and greed, a fear that is a phantom; a 
greed that is a curse. Let me develop this answer: in 
settling the West we absorbed democratically the great 
increment of the land values. We have established in our 


West, under a hundred fifty years of freedom, a civiliza- 
tion far from perfect, but a tolerable civilization in which 
men rose and fell in some relation to their capacities, in 
some measure of justice. Moreover we can maintain this 
measure of justice in the new pioneering age of the ma- 
chine, if only the boss, the man who owns the tools of in- 
dustry, will have faith in his country, faith in his fellow 
man. We ask only that the capitalist the man who 
owns the tools of industry shall have the faith that 
turned the wilderness of the West into a fairly civilized 
land. In that faith he may go on to the next evolutionary 
stage of democratic progress. 

But he must have faith, this inventor, this enterpriser, 
this owner of the tools of production. I seriously fear that 
the problem child of our democratic civilization today is 
not the labor racketeer, who is only a nuisance with his 
nagging demands for the tool workers, but rather our 
problem child is the man in the front office, the man at 
the flat-topped desk, the capitalist, the owner, whether he 
be a soulless corporate entity or a finite man mildly mad 
with a delusion of the danger to his property rights. Some 
of the trouble with him, of course, is pride; pride that 
begets timidity and that begets greed; greed that is blind 
to the claims of justice and the ideals of fraternity. 

It takes all kinds of men to make a world, men with 
many qualities. In our world today there is a place for all 
these men if they are equitably but of course not equally 
rewarded. No one wants, no one but a fool would try, to 
establish a social and industrial and economic system 
upon the basis of share and share alike. "In my Father's 
house are many mansions!" In our democracy why 
should the man of ten talents, because he is only one in 
ten, fear the man of one talent even if he is ten to one? 
Justice may be established between the one man and 


the many by the use of reason more surely than justice 
may be decreed by force. People have sense. 

Time and again, in the settlement of the West, has it 
been made clear that a social order may be erected and 
maintained under the capitalistic profit system an 
order founded upon justice, upheld by reason and not by 
force, an order deeply underpinned and founded in- 
stinctively upon what has been called "sweet reasonable- 
ness and the will of God." It will not work perfectly, of 
course. There will be flaws, blots and blemishes. But as 
our old West worked fairly well despite the rascal, in the 
face of the pillage of the plunderer, in the distribution of 
the unbelievable billions of dollars of increment from the 
land, so the new West will work if it is underpinned with 
the democratic faith in what passes for a Christian civil- 
ization. We can, if we will, here and now under democ- 
racy create an equitable order for the distribution of the 
stupendous increase in human wealth that is rising from 
the enlargement of mechanical power with its increase 
of production. 

CONCLUDING, LET ME REITERATE that what man did with 
that fabulous increase in wealth that came with the settle- 
ment of the West, man can do now as he plunges into the 
new era. But he must carry in his heart the two things 
that made the wilderness blossom as the rose. First, a 
neighborly faith in the decency of man. Second, a never- 
faltering vision of a better world. That vision the pioneers 
had even the worst of them. That vision always must 
shine in the depths of man's heart if he moves on to those 
broadening liberties that follow expanding duties. It is 
the essence of democracy. The more liberties we enjoy 
the more duties we assume ! That vision, dearly beloved, 
of justice in human relations, is what was meant when it 


was written: "The Kingdom of Heaven is within you." 
Force never will set up that kingdom. Our way of life 
here on this continent today with all its obvious inequi- 
ties, with its many cruel shortcomings, still is the Utopia 
that glowed in the hearts of the pioneers. We have con- 
quered much along our westward march during the cen- 
tury and a half much of oppression, something of 
greed, a lot of foolish or wicked inequalities. But these 
conquests were on the battlefield within man's expanding 

The man of ten talents is beginning to show an under- 
standing heart. But our leadership must have the vision 
that has sustained even the poor, the underprivileged. 
Our men of exceptional qualities must hold the eternal 
hope of a just world which has inspired all human prog- 
ress. America is ready for the next forward step, when the 
increment that comes from mechanical power replaces 
the surplus of wealth that rose from the settlement of the 
West. But progress today is only possible if into the hearts 
of these men of ten talents, into the heart of the boss, 
sitting before his smooth wide desk, can come that first 
amazing word of the young preacher on the Mount who 
opened his discourse with that passionate exhortation to 
humanity across the centuries, "Blessed are the poor in 
spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven!" 

The Strange Romances 

in the Life of 
the Walden "Recluse." 

Two Women 


IT is THE WINTER of 1841, before his stay at Emerson's 
and his adventures in New York. Thoreau, sitting, 
doubtless, in his attic room under the sloping roof of the 
Parkman house, was writing down his melancholy, as his 
idyllic love for Ellen Sewall drifted more and more rap- 
idly into the past. Having put his "sober play" and "sad 
plight" into rhythm and sent his version of a proposal of 
marriage to Watertown, to be refused with brevity, he 
was turning elsewhere for the feminine sympathy he 

Jan. 4, 1841. I know a woman who is as true to me and as 
incessant with her mild rebuke as the blue sky. When I stand 
under her cope, instantly all pretension drops off for she plys 
me like wind and rain to remove all taint. I am fortunate that 
I can pass and repass before her as a mirror, each day. And 
I prove my strength in her glances. She is far truer to me than 
to herself. Her eyes are such bottomless and inexhaustible 
depths as if they were the windows of the Nature, through which 
I caught glimpses of the native land of the soul. 1 

Such passages as this are warnings not to make the 
biography of Thoreau a history of ideas. The reader who 

1 From the unpublished Journal for this year. A slightly different 
version appears in Blake's Winter, January 4, 1841. 



knows his Thoreau may answer, why not? it is the 
ideas of Thoreau, or at least his phrasings of them, that 
have been planted so deeply in fertile minds that even 
now they are sending up fresh crops. Yet it is precisely 
this view which makes the existing biographies unsatis- 
factory. It is really not Thoreau' s ideas which give to his 
best writing an authentic originality it is his attitudes. 
His ideas are all borrowed; the originality is in the blend- 
ing; and the secret of the blending is to be found in his 
own temperament expanding in his New England en- 
vironment. Therefore the attitudes (and they were some- 
times poses) of this youth, his loves, his hates, his scorns, 
his prejudices, and his inhibitions, are vital for biography, 
since they determine the uses he made of his thinking. 

By 1843, when he came home disappointed in journal- 
ism but eager to write books, his philosophy of life was 
fixed, if not yet entirely articulate. He was to learn noth- 
ing more except that it is easier to make a philosophy 
than to carry it out, and much easier to carry it out than 
to explain the not-me of the world inside and outside of 
Concord by means of it. This philosophy of his is re- 
corded, not always intelligibly, in the Journal in which he 
reported his life, and sent off daily, as he said, on a 
sheet postpaid to the gods: "I am clerk in their counting- 
room, and at evening transfer the account from day-book 
to ledger." 2 1 shall pursue it through his quirks and puck- 
ers and preciosities, and occasional magnificent elo- 
quences, in a later chapter, where I shall attempt to show 
that Henry, by his twenty-sixth year, if he had not 
ground up Concord in his mill, had assimilated Emerson 
and the Hindus and was ready to be Thoreau. 

Yet how little they know of a man who know only 

2 Journal I, 207. 


what he thinks, not how and why! There is nothing in 
Thoreau's philosophy, for example, to explain the fierce- 
ness of his embrace of solitude and the passion of his reac- 
tions toward human love. There is nothing to account 
for the passionate intensity of his love for nature. 

I shall not apologize, therefore, for devoting this chap- 
ter to a Henry Thoreau who is feeling not thinking; a 
tender and charming Thoreau, his " prickles" all sub- 
sided, whose emotions were expanding as fast as his 
intellect and were always to color it. This Thoreau was, I 
think, never visible except to women. Only women could 
draw out from its hiding the tender, shy, and passionate 
spirit, which in his writing is always just below the sur- 
face even of his satirical passages. The conception of 
Henry Thoreau as a woman-hater and a sexless philoso- 
pher is easy to shatter. He was a woman's man, frustrated 
in his relationships with women by circumstances and his 
own independent, ambitious temperament. 

There were at least four women in Thoreau's life, not 
counting his mother and sisters. With two he was in love, 
and one of these was Ellen. One, at least, was in love with 
him. Two of these women may be said to have saved him 
from the cold intellectuality of Concord which makes the 
Transcendentalism of the eager spirits gathered there in 
the early forties seem so brittle, so inhibited today. For 
The Dial, which was their organ, was free in everything 
but this there is no passion except of the intellect in 
its pages. 

THE WOMAN HE KNEW so well, who was truer to him than 
to herself, must have been the lonely invalid who looks 
down so sweetly in her picture, Lucy Jackson Brown. 
Mention has already been made of her affection for the 
young poet, then a senior at Harvard, who tossed "Sic 


Vita" with a bunch of violets into her window. In the 
winter of 1841 she was as often before living at the 
Thoreaus', since Henry fixed her stove-door as she talked: 

Last winter, you know, you did more than your share of the 
talking, and I did not complain for want of an opportunity. . . . 

Not in a year of the gods, I fear, will such a golden approach 
to plain speaking revolve again. 3 

She seems to have left the Thoreaus and gone home to 
Plymouth in that spring when the school closed and 
Henry shifted his abode across the Mill Dam to the 
Emersons'. There the presence of her sister, Lidian, would 
have kept talk of her warm, even when she was not visit- 
ing them. She was his first literary confidant, which ac- 
counts for the bookish references in his letters and also 
for his frank confessions, as to an understanding mind, 
of what he hoped to do: 

Concord, January 24, 1843. 

Dear Friend, . . . We always seem to be living just on the 
brink of a pure and lofty intercourse, which would make the 
ills and trivialness of life ridiculous. After each little interval, 
though it be but for the night, we are prepared to meet each 
other as gods and goddesses. 

I seem to have dodged all my days with one or two persons, 
and lived upon expectation, as if the bud would surely blos- 
som; and so I am content to live. . . . 

I am very happy in my present environment (he was at the 
Emersons'), though actually mean enough myself, and so, of 
course, all around me; yet, I am sure, we for the most part are 
transfigured to one another, and are that to the other which 
we aspire to be ourselves. The longest course of mean and 
trivial intercourse may not prevent my practicing this divine 
courtesy to my companion. Notwithstanding all I hear about 
brooms, and scouring, and taxes, and housekeeping, I am con- 

8 Letters to Lucy Brown, October 5, July 21, 1841 ; Familiar Letters, 
pp. 40, 36. 


strained to live a strangely mixed life, as if even Valhalla 
might have its kitchen. We are all of us Apollos serving some 

We must not smile at the elevated diction of this letter 
it is quite as American as the flat familiarity of a later 
generation. These affectionate, deeply serious women 
were bringing out the best in Henry, making him forget 
his poses, and recognizing his spiritual cravings. They 
were trying so hard to be worthy of their souls, even in the 
kitchen of the Valhalla where Emerson dwelt: 

Concord, Friday evening 
January 25, 1843. 

Dear Friend, ... I don't know whether you have got the 
many [letters] I have sent you, or rather whether you were 
quite sure where they came from. I mean the letters I have 
sometimes launched off eastward in my thought; but if you 
have been happier at one time than another, think that then 
you received them. . . . Why, I will send you my still fresh 
remembrance of the hours I have passed with you here, for I 
find in the remembrance of them the best gift you have left to 
me. We are poor and sick creatures at best; but we can have 
well memories, and sound and healthy thoughts of one another 
still, and an intercourse may be remembered which was without 
blur, and above us both. 

Perhaps you may like to know of my estate nowadays. . . . 
One while I am vexed by a sense of meanness; one while I 
simply wonder at the mystery of life; and at another, and at 
another, seem to rest on my oars, as if propelled by propitious 
breezes from I know not what quarter. But for the most part 
I am an idle, inefficient, lingering (one term will do as well as 
another, when all are true and none true enough) member of 
the great commonwealth, who have most need of my own 
charity. . . . 

Don't think me unkind because I have not written to you. 
I confess it was for so poor a reason as that you almost made a 
principle of not answering. I could not speak truly with this 
ugly fact in the way. . . . 


After this the warmth, but not the fact, of the friend- 
ship lapsed. Even though Lucy Brown came to live in a 
house built by Emerson across the road, the intimacy 
was transferred to the younger sister. 

IT is DIFFICULT TO LEARN much of Lidian Emerson, so 
much is she overshadowed by her husband, who, indeed, 
did little himself to encourage her personality beyond the 
home. We know that she was a constant invalid, deeply 
religious rather than intellectual like her sister, conscien- 
tious to a fault, and with a surpassing love for flowers and 
gardening. The tolerant Emerson found her sympathetic 
but unconverted to "newness." She thought it wicked to 
go to church, which must have pleased Thoreau, yet 
suffered from her doubts, and in her childhood was sub- 
ject to religious terrors. Lidian was witty, a little shy, with 
a sense of duty to the home and the household which was 
prevailing. When she had a new order to give in the 
kitchen, she said, she felt like a boy who throws a stone 
and runs. 4 Emerson, who called her "mine Asia," says 
frankly that he thought of his first wife, Ellen, as one to 
travel with, which means, I suppose, as an emotional 
sharer of experience, but of Lidian as a companion in the 
home. Yet from the home she constantly retreated to her 
family in Plymouth, leaving a long succession of govern- 
esses and helpers in charge. There was, seemingly, a 
neurosis of some kind at the root of her ill health. Cer- 
tainly Emerson was never truly intimate with his Asia, 
and was aware of his frequent aloofness, his coldness with 
her, and so was she. He led, he said rather bitterly of 
himself, "a bachelor existence," and apologized more 
than once in his letters for his lack of warmth to her. He 
was better, he said, as a father than as a stove ! 

4 Emerson, Journal. 


There was an extraordinary politeness in the Emerson 
household, which many have commented on, 5 that set 
Thoreau's prickles quivering. He lived, however, with 
the women, Lidian and Lucy and Sophia Foord and 
Mary Russell, and with the children in house or garden, 
making toys and instruments for little Waldo, and helping 
Lidian, in an atmosphere that was evidently less formal 
when the master was absent. He also was shy (though 
not too shy to read from his "The Service" to Emerson's 
spiritual "Sister," Caroline Sturgis). "One of our girls 
said," so R. W. E. notes in 1843, "that Henry never went 
through the kitchen without coloring." The wife and the 
young protege must have been quickly drawn together, 
for they were constantly in each other's company. 
Thoreau's room in the house (it has now been made into 
a bathroom) was at the top of the front stairs and hence 
on the main-travelled way of the home. 6 While for Emer- 
son it was "much to know that poetry has been written 
this very day, under this very roof, by your side," 7 he 
saw little of Henry in his first stay. His walks seem to have 
been with Ellery Channing, and the very excitement of 
his first boat ride with Thoreau shows that excursions 
with him did not happen often. The philosopher at home 
seems to have kept much to himself. 

Thoreau's attitude toward Mrs. Emerson, say the edi- 
tors of Emerson's Journal, was of respectful attention. At 
first, yes, as befitted the difference in their ages, but long 
before the two years of his residence ended there was a 
change. It is probable that the sudden death of little 

5 Mary Hosmer Brown, Memories of Concord (Boston. The Four 
Seas Co. 1926.), pp. 35, 36. 

6 Or at least this was his room in his second stay; presumably in 
his first. 

7 Emerson, Journal. September, 1842. 


Waldo in January of 1842, followed by the death of 
Henry's beloved John in the same month, brought them 
closer together. Yet the presence of the warm-blooded 
youth in this polite household, so warm in its thinking, 
so cool in its decorum, is a better explanation of what 
happened. Lidian must have found Thoreau as sympa- 
thetic and as interesting as had her sister, but the new 
relations were more intimate, and she, behind her shy- 
ness, seems to have been a far more emotional person. 
Books did not concern her so much as her inner life, and 
humor was in her gift. While Emerson was in New York 
lecturing in '43 she wrote him of one of the famous 
Conversations held in the house: 

Concord, February 20, 1843. 

. . . The subjects were: What is Prophecy? Who is a Prophet? 
and The Love of Nature. Mr. Lane [Alcott's English friend who 
bought Fruitlands in order to devise something better than 
family life] decided, as for all time and the race, that this same 
love of nature of which Henry was the champion, and 
Elizabeth Hoar and Lidian (though L. disclaimed possessing 
it herself) his faithful squiresses that this love was the most 
subtle and dangerous of sins. . . . Henry frankly affirmed 
to both the wise men that they were wholly deficient in the 
faculty in question, and therefore could not judge of it. And 
Mr. Alcott as frankly answered that it was because they went 
beyond the mere material objects, and were filled with spiritual 
love and perception (as Mr. T. was not), that they seemed to 
Mr. Thoreau not to appreciate outward nature. I am very 
heavy, and have spoiled a most excellent story. I have given 
you no idea of the scene, which was ineffably comic, though 
it made no laugh at the time; I scarce laughed at it myself, 
too deeply amused to give the usual sign. Henry was brave and 
noble; well as I have always liked him, he still grows upon me. 

But she grew upon him even more. Indeed, from vari- 
ous references in his Journal, it seems probable that he 
was already deeply stirred. A year before the date of this 


letter he was inserting, without relevance, in the daily 
record of his Journal, "Where is my heart gone? They 
say men cannot part with it and live." 8 Lidian was the 
first outside the family to whom he wrote from Staten 

Castleton, Staten Island, May 22, 1843. 

My dear Friend, I ' believe a good many conversations 
with you were left in an unfinished state, and now indeed I 
don't know where to take them up. But I will resume some of 
the unfinished silence. I shall not hesitate to know you. I think 
of you as some elder sister of mine, whom I could not have 
avoided, a sort of lunar influence, only of such age as the 
moon, whose time is measured by her light. You must know 
that you represent to me woman, for I have not traveled very 
far or wide, and what if I had? I like to deal with you, for 
I believe you do not lie or steal, and these are very rare virtues. 
I thank you for your influence for two years. I was fortunate 
to be subjected to it, and am now to remember it. It is the 
noblest gift we can make; what signify all others that can be 
bestowed? You have helped to keep my life 'on loft,' as Chaucer 
says of Griselda, and in a better sense. You always seemed to 
look down at me as from some elevation, some of your high 
humilities, and I was the better for having to look up. I 
felt taxed not to disappoint your expectation; for could there 
be any accident so sad as to be respected for something better 
than we are? It was a pleasure even to go away from you . . . 
as it apprised me of my high relations; and such a departure 
is a sort of further introduction and meeting. Nothing makes 
the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at a distance; they 
make the latitudes and longitudes. 

You must not think that fate is so dark there, for even here 
I can see a faint reflected light over Concord, and I think that 
at this distance I can better weigh the value of a doubt there. 
Your moonlight, as I have told you, though it is a reflection of 
the sun, allows of bats and owls and other twilight birds to flit 
therein. But I am very glad that you can elevate your life with 
a doubt, for I am sure that it is nothing but an insatiable faith 

8 March 26, 1842; Journal I, 350. 


after all that deepens and darkens its current. And your doubt 
and my confidence are only a difference of expression. 

This is a tribute of which any woman might be proud 
yet notice its restrained emotion she is much older 
(she was, in fact, fifteen years older), but the Jackson 
women in spite of invalidism kept youthful looks. She 
was timeless like the moon, her influence measured by its 
light. For him she represents woman. What she replied I 
do not know, but it is evident from Henry's next letter 
on June 20 that something has unlocked her heart, per- 
haps his tender reference to her religious doubts, perhaps 
the manly fervor of the letter quoted above. Certainly 
she responded as Ellen did not, as Mrs. Brown probably 
could not, to Thoreau's craving, so often expressed, for a 
friendship which lifted as it grew warmer, which was 
Transcendental yet intensely human: 

Staten Island, June 20, 1843. 

My very dear Friend, I have only read a page of your 
letter, and have come out to the top of the hill at sunset, where 
I can see the ocean, to prepare to read the rest. It is fitter that 
it should hear it than the walls of my chamber. ... I feel as 
if it were a great daring to go on and read the rest, and then 
to live accordingly. ... I am almost afraid to look at your 
letter. I see that it will make my life very steep, but it may lead 
to fairer prospects than this. . . . 

My dear friend, it was very noble in you to write me so trust- 
ful an answer. . . . The thought of you will constantly elevate 
my life. ... I think I know your thoughts without seeing you, 
and as well here as in Concord. You are not at all strange to me. 

I could hardly believe, after the lapse of one night, that I 
had such a noble letter still at hand to read. ... I looked at 
midnight to be sure that it was real. I feel that I am unworthy 
to know you, and yet they will not permit it wrongfully. . . . 

My friend, I have read your letter as if I was not reading it. 
After each pause I could defer the rest forever. . . . What have 
we to do with petty rumbling news? We have our own great 


affairs. Sometimes in Concord I found my actions dictated, 
as it were, by your influence, and though it led almost to trivial 
Hindoo observances, yet it was good and elevating. . . . 

I send my love to my other friend and brother, whose noble- 
ness I slowly recognize. HENRY 

After two years under his roof, it is only slowly that 
Thoreau recognizes the nobleness of his "friend and 
brother," Emerson! Surely it was because of lack of 
opportunity, not doubt. Lidian, not Emerson, has been 
the great influence in his emotional life, and this letter, 
with its over- tensity of feeling, is a cogent explanation of 
the Platonisms of the essay on Friendship. Here is a source 
more important than his reading for his obsession with 
love which is friendship and friendship which is love, and 
also, I am sure, of many passionate passages in his 
Journal where the substitution of a "she" brings them 
close to these letters. It was the beginning also, I fear, of a 
lifelong frustration. For Lidian was a wife and mother, 
and she was certainly enough awake emotionally to 
recognize that his letter, for all its ethereal morality, was 
perilously close to love, by any definition. Her letter had 
been an exhortation by a dear friend to live a life worthy 
of him and of her but it was read, though Henry 
would have denied it, as a love letter is read. 

Certainly, she took fright. I believe she must have writ- 
ten him a cooling epistle. His next recorded letter to her 
was not written until October 16, and deals precisely 
with the "petty rumbling news" which was to be un- 
necessary between them. He tells her that W. H. Chan- 
ning has published his "Present," he asks whether they 
have gone berrying or to the Cliffs, and how are the 
flowers and the hens, says he has been reading Quarles, 
and sends a critique for her and for Mrs. Brown. How are 
Edith, Ellen, and Elizabeth Hoar? And nothing more ! 


SHE WOULD HAVE BEEN abundantly justified if a cooling 
letter was written, could she have read the remarkable 
confession called "A Sister," which is preserved in a 
manuscript now in the Huntington Library, dated by 
Sanborn as of 1848 to 1850, and containing passages used 
later in "Walden." "A Sister" was therefore written 
either at Walden Pond, when his Journal was pointing 
toward " Walden," or in the years just succeeding, one 
of which was spent, by her request, with Lidian: 

A Sister. 

One in whom you have unbounded faith whom you can 
purely love. A sweet presence and companion making the 
world populous. Whose heart answers to your heart. Whose 
presence can fill all space. One who is a spirit. Who attends 
to your truth. A gentle spirit a wise spirit a loving spirit. 
An enlargement to your being, level to yourself. Whom you 
presume to know. . . . The stream of whose being unites with 
your own without a ripple or a murmur. & this spreads into a 

I still think of you as my sister. . . . Others are of my kindred 
by blood or of my acquaintance but you are part of me. You 
are of me & I of you I cannot tell where I leave off and you 
begin. ... To you I can afford to be forever what I am, for 
your presence will not permit me to be what I should not 
be. ... My sister whom I love I almost have no more to do 
with. I shall know where to find her. ... I can more heartily 
meet her when our bodies are away. I see her without the veil of 
the body. . . . Other men have added to their farms I have 
annexed a soul to mine. 

When I love you I feel as if I were annexing another world 
to mine. . . . O Do not disappoint me. 

Whose breath is as gentle and salubrious as a Zephyr's whis- 
per. Whom I know as an atmosphere. . . . Whom in thought 
my spirit continually embraces. Unto whom I flow. . . . Who 
art clothed in white. Who comest like an incense. Who art 
all that I can imagine my inspirer. The feminine of me 
Who art magnanimous. 


It is morning when I meet thee in a still cool dewy white 
sun light In the hushed dawn my young mother I thy eldest 
son. . . . Whether art thou my mother or my sister whether 
am I thy son or thy brother. 

On the remembrances of whom I repose so old a sister art 
thou so nearly hast thou recreated me . . . whose eyes are 
like the morning star Who comest to me in the morning twi- 

Even if we knew of any other woman of whom these 
fervid passages, with their curious incoherence in rela- 
tionships and their approaches to hysterical emotion, 
could conceivably have been written, the parallels to 
Thoreau's letter to Lidian, and the known intimacy be- 
tween them in '47-'48, as well as in '41-'43, would make 
it substantially certain that Mrs. Emerson was intended. 
I leave to psychologists of love what Thoreau's state 
exactly was. But certainly he was deeply moved, though 
he would have admitted only such a Transcendental 
meaning as can be found in Emerson's letters to his 
"Sister," Caroline Sturgis Tappan, so much warmer emo- 
tionally than his letters to his wife. He had evidently 
intended, as in the essay on Friendship, to conceal the 
personal references by "thou" and "art," and there are 
many revisions apparent in the manuscript. But no revi- 
sion could make "A Sister" publishable without reveal- 
ings. Its place in a manuscript made up of passages not 
sequent, either by number of page or by subject, suggests 
that these pages were not meant to be a part of the 
Journal which he expected the public some day to read. 
There is, as it happens, direct evidence in other pages 
of the manuscript that this essay was personal. I can only 
guess at the significance of one isolated sentence: "I 
would not that my love should be a trouble or a disgrace 
to my friends," though the inference seems clear enough. 
But in another place is what seems to be his own guarded 


statement of what lay behind "A Sister." The page is torn 
at the top: 

By turns my purity has inspired and my impurity has cast 
me down. 

My most intimate acquaintance with woman has been a 
sisters relation, or at most a catholic's virgin mother relation 
not that it has always been free from the suspicion of lower 
sympathy. There is a love of woman [page torn] with marriage 
of woman on the [page torn] She has exerted the influence 
of a goddess on me; cultivating my gentler humane nature; 
cultivating & preserving purity, innocence, truth, [end of page] 

[Succeeding fragment; marked 1850 by Sanborn.] Woman 
is a nature older than I and commanding from me a vast amount 
of veneration like Nature. She is my mother at the same 
time that she is my sister, so that she is at any rate an older 
sister. ... I cannot imagine a woman no older than I. ... 
Methinks that I am younger than aught that I associate with. 
The youngest child is more than my coeval. 

It is impossible to believe after reading these passages 
that Thoreau was immune to love, nor hard to under- 
stand after his experience with young romance and this 
religious passion for a conscientious married woman, why 
his emotional life in the future was likely to take the 
common course of love frustrated, toward sublimation. 
But that is the last chapter of his emotional history. He 
was to find first, and at least one other woman was to 
discover from him, that "implacable is love." 

There would seem to be little doubt, whatever the 
psychologists say, that Thoreau was what the common 
man would call in love with Emerson's wife, although I 
suspect that the intensity of the relationship did not reach 
its peak until during and after his second stay at the 
Emersons'. It was so easy for him to Transcendentalize 
this emotion, and so impossible for his Concord imagina- 
tion to conceive anything not Transcendental in his 


relations with his benefactor's wife, that it is useless to 
look for open confirmation on his part. When they were 
thrown together while Emerson was lecturing in '47 and 
'48 he writes to Emerson in England: "Lidian and I make 
very good housekeepers. She is a very dear sister to me." 
"Lidian is too unwell to write." There is no further men- 
tion of her, either in his Journal or his published letters, 
but that she is often if not always the mysterious friend of 
the Journal of the fifties who is cold, who disappoints, 
who will not meet with heart as well as mind, I have little 

Washington Square, December 

Trees, resigned and still, 
The birds forsake you now 
That made the bells of song 
Ring out from every bough. 

Dark and still you stand, 
Steeped in the thin air, 
More beautiful than trees 
That water-colors wear. 

Brides of the dark days, 
O lonely, without leaf, 
The hurt that mourns in man 
Is hushed before your grief. 


How Omniscient 
Journalism is Born. 

Editorial Conference 


An editorial conference on the Weekly Torch, a liberal maga- 
zine. The conference room is dingy, with one dirty window, a 
badly worn rug, and one big electric bulb hanging down from the 
middle of the ceiling. There are seven plain chairs around a table 
in the center. The time is 11 A.M. 

There are seven characters, Jive women and two men: 

Fran chief editor, about forty-four, pasty-looking, with 

stringy hair. Her dress bulges in the back. 
Betty an associate editor, short and sloppy. 
Martha an associate editor, like Betty but stouter. She never 

talks but mumbles. 
Madeline an associate editor, taller than Martha. Her mouth 

is enormous. 

Irma an associate editor, Madeline^ sister and much like her. 
Robert literary editor, has a creased face and wears rimless 

George advertising and circulation manager, huge and neat, 

with his hair parted in the middle. He smiles easily. 

Betty, Martha, Madeline and Irma are seated about the table 
as the scene opens. Betty and Madeline are staring at the window, 
while Martha and Irma are messing with papers on their laps. 


I feel out of sorts. My stomach. 
(No one answers her) 




(Looking up from her papers) 

I'm furious. I can't find it. Maybe it's not important 

(No one answers her) 

(ENTER Robert. He looks tired) 



(He sits down in one of the empty chairs) 


(Rummaging through her papers, not looking up) 
Hello, Robert. 

(No one else answers Robert's greeting) 
(ENTER Fran and George. Both are carrying huge bundles of 
papers. They smile as they enter and sit down) 


I don't feel so good. A splitting headache. 


My father-in-law's in town. Might drop in later. 


(Fussing with her papers) 

I can't find my list of subjects for editorial paragraphs. 
But I remember it. Let's see. Student demonstrations, 
Rumania, Asia, Shirley Temple, the New York World's 
Fair, the new Sixth Avenue subway, and French labor. 
Betty, want to do 300 words on French labor? 

All right. 

(She makes a note) 


And you, Madeline, do you want to do student demon- 


strations and the Fair? I have some releases from the 
Students' League on my desk, and you can digest them. 


(All the time she has been drawing pictures on a piece of 
paper on her lap) 
I'll pick them up. 

Now, Rumania and Shirley Temple. Irma? 


I'll do them. I think I'll want a little extra space on 
Shirley Temple. My daughter saw her last picture yester- 
day and discussed it with me. I think she's significant. 

(No one answers her) 


Asia. Nothing much in the papers about it all week, but 
maybe we ought to say something. 


We ought to. If something happens there next week, we'd 
be timely. 

So we're all agreed. 




I'll do Asia, about 300 words. 

(She makes a note. There is a silence as she writes. She 
stops writing and the silence continues. Robert gets up, 
stretches himself, and sits down again) 


I hope it doesn't rain this week-end. I don't like rain. 



I thought you said you liked your place in Connecticut? 
Haven't they fixed the pump yet? 

It's fixed, but I was depressed last week-end. 

Did it rain? 


A little. 



(A pause) 

I almost forgot. We ought to have something about the 
new Bolivian dictatorship. I saw something about it in 
the Times this morning, but I left the paper home. 


I saw the headline, too. Middle of the page. 

Yes. Did you read it? 


No. I lost my Times in the subway. 


We ought to have something. 


Who'll do it? 

( No one answers. A pause) 
You, Irma? 


I haven't kept in touch with the Bolivian situation, so 
really. . . . 



That's all right. The clips are in the files, and I think I can 
find you a today's Times. So will you do it, Irma? 

If we have all the clips. 300 words? 

That should be enough. 


(With finality) 

That should be enough. 




(Still a bit bewildered) 
What slant shall I give it? 


You know. Summarize the issue in 250 words, then give 
our stand, briefly. 

What is our stand on the Bolivian situation? 

(Throughout this colloquy the others are paying no attention. 
Some are looking at the window, others are making marks on 
their papers) 


Just say we deplore it. 

I will. 


Fran, I'd like to have six pages for the book section this 
week. I've had only four pages the last three weeks. 



(Rummaging through her papers) 

I'll see, Robert. It looks as if I lost my list of articles, too. 
Hope I didn't leave it home. But I remember it: "Europe 
In Turmoil," by Howard Brander; "Washington: A 
Critique of Misdirection," by Erwin Gault Voldt; and 
"The Plague of Professional Sport," by Maurice Berko- 
witz. That looks all right to me. 


(This is his fast speech. Until now he has been smiling at 

the others pretty steadily) 

Fine. I'm glad we'll have another piece by Berkowitz. His 
last two pieces did very well. 

Have you any figures? 



(He fishes through his enormous pile of papers, and picks out 

a tiny memorandum) 

Two weeks ago, when we had a Berkowitz article, our 
New York sales jumped from 3,050 to 3,143. I haven't 
the final figures, of course, but my estimates are generally 
right. The same week, in the Middle West, from the Mis- 
sissippi to Denver, not counting Wyoming, which is late 
in sending in returns, our newsstands sales increased 
from 1,546 to 1,603. And on the Coast, San Francisco 
alone, it looks, sold 35 more copies. Now, this week it 
looks just as good. You know the stand at the corner of 
Bolton and Revere? 




He usually takes ten copies of the Weekly Torch. Generally 
he sells two copies. This week he has already sold three, 
and he still has three days to go before the issue is off the 
stands. So it looks good all around. 


Good. I better jack Berkowitz up to hurry with his next 
piece on swimming. 

I like Berkowitz. 


I wonder what his wife looks like. Somebody told me, I 
forget who, she's very tiny. 


Now, about the articles next week, don't you think we 
have a well-rounded selection? "Europe in Turmoil," 
"Washington: A Critique of Misdirection," and the Berk- 
owitz piece. That takes in everything. 



But Fran, what about my book section? I really should 
have more pages. You promised me six last summer. The 
reviews are piling up, and pretty soon we'll have to cover 
the stadium concerts, and George will want a page for 
summer camps. 


Don't worry, Robert. It will work out. We really ought 
to talk more about vacations, but I don't feel so good. 
Most of you want to take your vacations later, in the fall. 



Sometimes I wish I had a big sail boat. I don't mean a 
yacht. Something small. 

Got a name for it? 


Not exactly. That can come later. 


Pm surprised how cool it is in New Jersey. 


I think I'll go home for the day. Need a rest. I didn't 
sleep so well last night. 

(All walk out slowly, lumber ingly) 

What America Stands to 
Lose in the Orient 

The U. S. Joins in the 
Battle of the Concessions 


OUICK TERMINATION of the undeclared Sino-Japanese 
war, now in its third year, might well be Japan's 
answer to the recent, curt denunciation of the 1911 
Treaty of Commerce and Navigation between Wash- 
ington and Tokyo, which is intended to pave the way to 
an arms embargo against Japan next January. With 
Soviet Russia's Far Eastern Red Army already conduct- 
ing a "test battle" with the Japanese on the plains of 
Mongolia and Manchuria, Japan can ill-afford to have 
her vital reservoir of oil, iron and other necessities cut 
off. Therefore, observers hold that Japan's logical course 
must necessarily be to end hostilities against China in 
order to gird herself for war with the Soviet, which 
undoubtedly would swing American opinion toward 
Japan as against the Reds. 

Meanwhile, the American denunciation of the 1911 
treaty has definitely swung the United States on danger- 
ous ground in the century-old battle between the West 
and the East for the preservation of the white man's 
"sacred rights." 

While the United States has but one concession in 
China at Amoy all Americans living in the Euro- 
pean concessions enjoy a large measure of autonomy and 



extraterritoriality which exempts them from the jurisdic- 
tion of Chinese courts and law, and subjects them only to 
the authority of their consuls. To keep the peace, the 
concessions have their own police force and, in the larger 
foreign-controlled areas, such as in Shanghai and Tien- 
tsin, there is also a volunteer guard, or a citizen militia. 

The Chinese have long demanded that the concessions, 
with their obnoxious stigma of race and class inferiorities, 
be abolished. Nevertheless, the Occidentals have made 
extraordinary efforts to "save face" and not yield to the 
pressure of both the Chinese Nationalists and the Japa- 
nese military to infringe on their foreign "rights." In 
Tientsin, for instance, the recent scene of trouble in the 
Far East and generally regarded as a test case in the 
ultimate struggle for the return to China of the Interna- 
tional Settlement and the French Concession in Shanghai 
the British "carried on for Empire" with their dinner 
parties, polo games and other social functions despite 
the barricades and the threat of the stoppage of the food 
supply. One of the greatest discomforts, according to an 
Associated Press dispatch, when the situation first became 
tense last June, was that the members of the "horsy set" 
were unable personally to feed their prize mounts, stabled 
outside the British zone. That the concessions are 
doomed, there is not the slightest doubt. Their elimina- 
tion is part of the planned New Order in East Asia by 
which it is expected that China will be brought out of 
its quarter of a century of chaos which was always a 
definite set-back to trade and commerce of all the powers 
concerned in the China market. 

But to understand the problem faced by Americans 
and Europeans, so jealous of their "sacred rights" in 
China, the long and bloody history of the battle for the 
concessions must be told. In the past century, Great 


Britain fought four undeclared and brutal wars against a 
helpless China, with the connivance and aid of the 
United States and other powers which now so strongly 
condemn the present action of Japan. Yet, while Japan 
insists that her aims are solely for the ultimate benefit of 
the Chinese themselves, the European conflicts in China 
were always for the benefit of Great Britain, France and 
Russia, and, indirectly, the United States and 
always strictly to the discomfiture of China. 

The big business man, the taipan, still refuses to allow 
Chinese in his comfortable clubs in the foreign conces- 
sions, and it was not so long ago that the British and 
American business men were loud in their opinion that 
the Chinese political and economic chaos made business 
a bad risk there; and that Japan, whose nationals were 
welcomed into the clubs on an equality of the other 
"treaty powers," was particularly fit to make the 
Chinese mend their ways. 

But now that Japan seems to be about to accomplish 
the creation of a stabilized China, it is the American 
business man who most fears the closing of the Open 
Door. This seems somewhat inconsistent. It was Great 
Britain who first forced its trade upon China, and later 
used the United States as her instrument in promulgating 
the Open Door doctrine by carefully tutoring John Hay 
in the fundamentals of British policy in China while Hay 
was Ambassador to the Court of St. James's. In the 
hundred years that have followed the violent opening of 
the China market to Great Britain, France, and the 
United States, England has profited more than any other 
nation, China being England's second-best treasure 
chest, next to India. 

It was not until 1757 that the Chinese market was 
formally thrown open to foreign trade and merchants 


were allowed to carry on their business at Canton, but 
with such restrictions that they might just as well have 
not been allowed into port at all. The Chinese view was 
that China had everything she wanted and if the for- 
eigners came to her shores to buy goods, they must be 
prepared to submit to whatever treatment China was 
pleased to give them. In the words of the Emperor 
Ch'Ien Lung, in a note to King George III of England 
as delivered to Lord Macartney in 1793, "The Celestial 
Empire possesses all things in prolific abundance and 
lacks no product within its borders. There is therefore no 
need to import the manufactures of outside barbarians 
in exchange for our own products." 

The picture of China as a land of immense commercial 
possibilities, with a vast population anxious to trade 
with foreigners, but prevented from doing so by the 
"ignorant and bigoted" Imperial court, has prevailed all 
these years. Even now the fallacy of 490,000,000 Chinese, 
each spending a penny or a dollar for foreign goods, is 
still believed, although it is a fact that the annual cash 
income of the average Celestial is less than $10 a year, 
and this all must necessarily be spent for food and 

SHIPS FIRST VISITING at Canton to barter Western goods 
for tea then the only known source of that beverage - 
were unable to dispose of their cargoes. The English 
East India Company, forced to pay for all goods in 
silver, and searching for a commodity that could be 
profitably sold in China, hit upon the idea of disposing 
of opium, of which it had a monopoly in the State of 
Bengal. The Chinese, however, had long before dis- 
covered the evils of the drug and had banned it by a 
series of Imperial edicts which dated back several hun- 


dred years. The British traders, therefore, had to barter 
their opium for Chinese products through smuggling and 

In 1839 an attempt was made by the Chinese Emperor 
to enforce the opium prohibition law, and $6,000,000 
worth of the drug was confiscated from British traders in 
Canton. This provided the excuse for the English to 
engage in their first war with China the Opium War, 
one of the most sordid in modern annals. It was a fore- 
runner of the present "undeclared wars" that have 
become a twentieth century vogue. 

Although American ships stood by during the hos- 
tilities, and American merchants approvingly looked on 
at the horrible slaughter, and the seizure and sacking 
of a number of Chinese cities, it was through this war 
that the "benevolently neutral" United States indirectly 
obtained its present "sacred rights" to exploit China. The 
war raged for three years, until Nanking, about to be 
doomed itself, sued for peace and ceded the island of 
Hong Kong to Britain and opened the ports of Shanghai, 
Canton, Amoy, Fuchow and Ningpo to foreign trade, 
besides paying an indemnity of $15,000,000, plus the 
cost of the opium seized in the warehouses at Canton. 

The history of the foreign settlements dates back to this 
time, when they were established for the sole protection 
of the barbarians, for in those early years China looked 
upon all the nations which had entered commercial 
treaties with her as vassal states. The Emperor, whom the 
Chinese regarded as ruling the terrestial world from a 
celestial throne, considered it out of the question to deal 
on equal terms with Great Britain, France or the United 
States and he regarded foreign ships calling at Chinese 
ports as being there solely to pay tribute to China. The 
idea of setting up the settlements was therefore a Chinese 


idea, in that the "foreign devils" could be confined in as 
small an area as the Emperor deigned to grant them. 
The aliens, regarded as barbarous and unclean, were 
thus prohibited from mingling with the "civilized" 

Thus it was not, as the Chinese have since contended, 
that the foreign settlements were forced upon an un- 
willing China by alien overlords, and it was actually the 
Chinese Government itself that foisted the settlements 
upon the Westerners. In due course the "foreign devils" 
converted the settlements into something which the 
more "civilized" Chinese regarded with amazement, 
and they began to seek admission into the "unclean 
quarters" of the barbarians, but the foreigners slammed 
the gates in their faces. 

Shortly after the signing of the Treaty in Nanking in 
1842 there broke out the T'Aip'ing Rebellion, an uprising 
of the Chinese against the foreigners, and particularly 
wandering missionaries whom they regarded as attempt- 
ing to wrest the ancient empire from under the very 
throne of the Sun of Heaven. This rebellion lasted 
twelve years in the course of which it is estimated as 
many as 40,000,000 Chinese lost their lives and the 
Empire was brought almost to the brink of ruin. 
Especially terrific was the Chinese onslaught over Tien- 
tsin, for which one of Britain's most fabled empire build- 
ers, General C. G. (Chinese) Gordon, had drawn up 
plans for the establishment of an extraterritorial bit of 
Britain at that important seaport. Gordon led an Anglo- 
French expedition against the Manchu government at 
Peking, forcing it to open Tientsin, the gateway to the 
lush wheat, cotton and fur region of North China as 
another "treaty port" where Westerners might trade. 

As a result, Britain demanded and received a 100-year 


lease expiring in 1960, and two adjacent areas were later 
added to the concession under 999-year leases. There, in 
this self-governing concession, the British built textile 
factories and flour mills, established trading posts and 
banks and built their own luxurious homes. Tientsin is 
now a semi-modern city, with a population of more than 
1,000,000. Besides the British concession, there are sepa- 
rate French, Italian, and Japanese concessions. 

The war waged by "Chinese" Gordon had the moral 
support of the Americans, and was the culmination of a 
second fierce and tremendously bloody four-year unde- 
clared conflict waged by Britain against China to force 
the Imperial Court at Peking to grant the right to for- 
eigners to travel freely in the interior, establish diplomatic 
representatives in the capital on terms of equality with 
the Chinese Emperor, and the right of missionaries to 
propagate Christianity with a legal guarantee of tolera- 
tion for their converts. This war, begun in 1856, when 
the British attacked Canton after the Viceroy declined 
to apologize for the boarding of a British vessel by 
Chinese police in search of pirates, was joined in by the 
French, who, acting as the protectors of persecuted mis- 
sionaries in Kwangsi, seized Annam, which was to be 
the foundation of France's present colonial empire of 
Indo-China. The allies obtained satisfaction from China 
for all their demands, plus a heavy indemnity after a 
series of large-scale naval and military operations. 

Immediately after peace had been brought about, 
the extraterritorial jurisdiction of the foreign consuls was 
introduced to adjudicate the grievances of the traders and 
missionaries, who considered themselves above the laws 
of the Empire. As more and more foreigners entered 
China and hordes of missionaries plunged deeper into 
the interior, they all claimed special privileges and 


removed themselves entirely from Chinese jurisdiction. 
Out of this arose the autonomous foreign settlement, 
which became city states within, but not of, the Chinese 
Empire. Shanghai is the most striking example of the 
evolution of extraterritoriality, but Tientsin, Amoy and 
the other ports present the same problem. 

is the outgrowth of the throwing together of the British, 
American and a dozen other foreign holdings in that 
city, while the French retained their own distinctive 
settlement under French officials. With the international 
settlements thrown open to everyone, there was a tre- 
mendous influx of Chinese who escaped into them for an 
asylum against political enemies. 

The authorities of both Foreign Areas, however, sought 
to prevent their use by political refugees for further 
political activities or agitation, though it was only in most 
flagrant cases that they withdrew the privilege of 

There appears to be a good deal of unsound and wish- 
ful thinking over the alleged right of asylum or of sanc- 
tuary in the British and other Concessions. No such right 
is recognized under International Law, for these Con- 
cessions are not portions of the country which administers 
them, but of China, who, in the case of Tientsin, formally 
reserved full jurisdiction over her nationals. 

In Tientsin, today, the issue is complicated by the 
fact that the recognized Government of China is no 
longer in a position to function. The practice, therefore, 
appears to have grown up of interning Chinese believed 
to be guilty of subversive, military, or terroristic activ- 
ities. And this practice might have continued but for the 
fact that the Japanese authorities were pressing for the 


surrender of such persons. It certainly 
within the contemplation of the British authorities that 
guerrillas or terrorists who had made things too com- 
plicated for themselves by anti-Japanese activities or 
assassinations, should be given the hospitality of the 
British Municipal Area, and protected from punishment. 

What brought the Tientsin situation to a head with 
the result that Great Britain and Japan locked horns, 
with the United States giving Britain at least moral 
support, was the murder in a moving picture theatre in 
the British Concession of Dr. Cheng Lien-shi, manager 
of the Tientsin branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of 
China and superintendent of customs, by Chinese ter- 
rorists who made good their escape. His murder in the 
British Concession and the escape of the assassins created 
resentment on the part of the Japanese. 

Eventually the authorities arrested four hoodlums on 
suspicion of implication of the crime. The men were 
examined and, according to the report of the authorities, 
little was found against them, except the fact that they 
were hoodlums and on friendly terms with Mrs. Chiang 
Kai-shek. The Japanese thereupon asked to examine 
them and as a result extracted confessions; the British 
reexamined them, withdrew the confessions, and then 
began the long quarrel as to whether the men should be 
surrendered to the district court. 

The present resentment of the United States and Great 
Britain to what now seems to be Japan's inevitable 
control of China's economic destiny and the abolition of 
the concessions appears more extraordinary in the glaring 
light of the history of the concessions themselves. While 
the Chinese were involved with the British and French 
in the battle for concessions under "Chinese" Gordon 
in the middle of the last century, Russia seized the oppor- 


tunity to force Peking to recognize Russian control over 
the left bank of the Amur River, the boundary of Man- 
churia. Two years later, Russia advanced eastward to 
occupy Vladivostok and gained control over the maritime 
provinces of Siberia by the Treaty of Peking in 1860 - 
a treaty secured by bribing high officials of the Emperor's 

China's seclusion by this time was a thing of the past, 
and the oldest existing Empire became a virtual vassal of 
the rival European nations. From that time on it was 
merely a matter of what power first dispatched a gunboat 
to Chinese ports in the battle for "sacred rights." 

Japan's ascendency in the China scramble began after 
Russia had half completed the building of the Trans- 
Siberian Railway to connect European Russia with an 
ice-free Pacific port. The Russians regarded this road as 
a first step in the conquest of Manchuria and Korea. 
Japan saw that Russia was only too likely to wrest Korea, 
best described as "a dagger held at Japan's throat," from 
China. So Japan decided to deal with China before 
Russia had completed the railway and developed her full 
strength in the Far East. At this time, the Imperial Court 
at Peking was at the mercy of the corrupt and ignorant 
eunuch, Li Lien-yung, the favorite of the Empress 
Dowager. Li placed the Chinese fleet under the command 
of a cavalry officer, of all people, and, when war broke 
out between China and Japan in 1894, the massive 
twelve-inch guns on China's two battleships were pro- 
vided with just three shells, one for the flagship and two 
for the sister ship. 

Naturally the Japanese destroyed or captured the 
greater part of the obsolete Chinese Navy, drove the 
Chinese armies out of Korea, occupied Southern Man- 
churia as far west as the Liao River, and invaded 


Shantung. China sued for peace, but the Powers were 
considerably concerned that the status quo had been upset. 
By the treaty of Shimonoseki, signed on April 17, 1895, 
Japan obtained the recognition of Korea as an inde- 
pendent state and also gained the most favored nation 
status in China, which gave her all the rights and privi- 
leges possessed by the Western powers, besides a large 
indemnity and the full sovereignty of Formosa, the Pesca- 
dores, and the Liaotung Peninsula of Southern Man- 
churia, with the harbor of Port Arthur at its extremity. 

This treaty astounded the Russians, who had insisted 
that no power be allowed to increase its territorial pos- 
sessions "at China's expense." As a result, Russia per- 
suaded France and Germany, her allies then, to join 
her in a demand to Japan for the return of the Liaotung 
Peninsula, claiming that it was a menace to the capital of 
China and would render the independence of Korea 
illusory. The German Minister openly threatened Japan 
with war, while France and Russia used moral persuasion 
- backed by their combined fleets in the Pacific. 
England also "advised" Japan to yield and Japan heeded 
the suggestion and evacuated Port Arthur. Then, a 
month later, the Russian Foreign Minister wrote to the 
Russian Ambassador in Paris: 

"It is evident that, after what we have done for China, 
we wish to enable her to rid her territory as quickly as 
possible of the presence of the Japanese. . . . It is no less 
important for our future designs to have China in a state 
of dependence towards us and not to let England extend 
her influence there." 

Russia's program was to gain control of Manchuria 
and of the Chinese Empire as a whole an identical 
program now being followed meticulously by Communist 
Russia today. But in 1895 China was bitterly resentful 


of her humiliating defeat by Japan, whom for centuries 
China had regarded, as she did all adjacent nations, as a 
tributory vassal State. Russia pointed out then as now 
that, while Japan was China's enemy, Russia was her 
friend and would fight to preserve the "integrity" of the 
Empire if Japan again advanced onto the Asiatic main- 
land. In order to help China, however, Russia declared 
she would have to have strategic facilities, such as a 
railroad across Manchuria, a right to use Chinese ports 
in time of war and a naval base on the Yellow Sea. 

The result was that a secret treaty of alliance was 
signed providing for the building of a railway by the Rus- 
sians across Manchuria to Vladivostok. But, also by this 
move, Russia began a serious penetration of Manchuria 
and at the same time renewed pressure on Korea. 

France supported all these enterprises, both financially 
and diplomatically, because she not only wanted to stop 
England from gaining a further foothold in China but 
was most anxious to halt a German infiltration, which 
threatened after Germany selected Kiaochow Bay on 
the Shantung Coast, as a German port. Both France and 
Russia put pressure on Peking not to grant any German 
demands for concessions which might be the starting 
point of a German colony in Asia. 

Nevertheless, using as a pretext the murder of two 
German Catholic missionaries in that area, Germany 
took possession of Tsingtao in November, 1897, after a 
heavy naval bombardment. Russia, meanwhile, claimed 
a prior right of anchorage at Tsingtao, and Germany 
sought the aid of England. England, already gorged on 
China, again remained neutral in the quarrel between 
the European rivals, so Germany turned to Russia with 
proposals for German support of compensation to Russia 
at China's expense. This was acceptable to Moscow 


after her diplomats had failed to get concessions from 
China in return for a promise of assistance against 
Germany ! and a Russian fleet steamed into Port 
Arthur, which city she earlier had been so set upon 
"preserving" for China against Japan. Thereupon, 
Germany and Russia directed their attacks against China 
by making strong demands on Peking for the formal 
acceptance of the accomplished fact that these areas had 
been seized. 

This action inaugurated a new precedent in the game 
of biting hunks out of China, for, with the foreign settle- 
ments effecting a perfect autonomy, it was found less 
troublesome not to demand full sovereignty over the 
areas, such as in Hong Kong, and they secured, instead, 
lease-hold tenure, which gave them colonial authority. 
No foreign power has, in fact, taken territory from 
China in full sovereignty since 1895. 

This result of tenures by the Powers, however, has 
created a perplexing overlapping of national authorities 
which have formed foreign dominions wholly destructive 
of China's sovereignty while at the same time the Powers 
concerned have " guaranteed" the territorial integrity 
of China that is, the status quo is guaranteed while the 
Powers retain all that they have received under the 
covenant of the League of Nations. Thus the concessions, 
with their military and naval bases and full rights of 
administration and police powers, can even make war 
upon each other on Chinese soil, even in quarrels in 
which China is not herself concerned. So it was that in 
the Russo-Japanese War of 1905, Japan fought and 
defeated Russia on the plains of Manchuria, and in the 
World War Japan fought and defeated the Germans in 

In 1900, the Chinese renewed their campaign to 


exterminate all foreigners. Curiously enough, it was 
Tientsin which underwent the worst threats when the 
Chinese "Boxers," encouraged by their Empress, made 
a fanatical attempt to hurl the Westerners out of the 
country, and besieged the city for twenty-seven days. The 
Chinese were driven off by a combined British-French- 
Russian-American-German-Japanese army, and the re- 
sulting settlement of the dispute tightened the grip of the 
foreigners of North China to the extent that the allied 
forces demanded and secured the right to maintain per- 
manent detachments of armed forces in that area. To this 
day the United States has garrisons in Tientsin and 
Peking, and our war vessels plow the China seas and the 
inland waterways; and it was the Japanese garrison, 
maintained in North China under the Boxer protocol 
that, in July, 1937, got into the affray with the Chinese 
soldiers that set off the present hostilities in China. 

THERE HAVE BEEN SCORES of instances involving blood- 
shed and violence against the foreigners on the part of 
the Chinese since the time of the Boxer uprising, when 
hundreds of missionaries were massacred. At the same 
time, the Western Powers themselves are largely to 
blame, in that they have long tolerated China's pose of 
self-righteousness and smug refusal to cope with realities. 
The ever-burning and underlying hatred of the 
foreigners, luxuriating in the concessions and with signs 
on their park gates saying "Dogs and Chinese Not Per- 
mitted," has been well camouflaged. By assuming the 
role of underdog in whatever power politics is raging in 
China while the Chinese politicos play one Power 
against the other the Chinese have built up a common 
belief in the United States and Europe that they are a 
poor, downtrodden but "peace-loving people." But 


Chinese history does not bear out this fancy, for there 
has hardly been a time when the various war-lords were 
not battling either against the country or among them- 
selves, with the result that China is the most blood- 
drenched soil in all the world. 

Since the overthrow of the Emperor in 1912, in the 
revolution engineered by Dr. Sun Yat-sen a Cantonese 
who later turned to Communism and was forced to flee 
the country to escape assassination there has not been 
a single day when a war was not being waged somewhere 
in China. On his death in 1925, Sun Yat-sen left a 
political will which has been, in effect, the Constitution 
and Bill of Rights of the Republic. It was the inspiration 
of the "New Life Movement" which carries on more 
than ever the hatred and loathing of "foreign devils," 
and it is part of this national policy that weighs most 
heavily on the shoulders of Chiang Kai-shek, who must 
nevertheless depend wholly on the support of the same 
"foreign devils" for loans and supplies to wage his war 
against Japan. 

While the cry in China for the recovery of interests has 
gone on for more than a quarter of a century and was a 
contributory factor in the fall of the Empire at the rise of 
the Kuomintang (Chinese Nationalist) Party, no definite 
steps were taken until 1919, when the Chinese delegation 
submitted a memorandum to the Supreme Council of the 
Paris Peace Conference calling upon all the Allied powers 
for the abolition of spheres of influence in China, the 
withdrawal of foreign garrisons, the abolition of extra- 
territoriality, the return of leased territories and a 
recovery of tariff autonomy, with special emphasis on 
regaining the foreign settlements and concessions. 

Following the first explicit claim for the recovery of 
settlements and concessions the first Congress of the 


Kuomintang issued a manifesto in January, 1924, de- 
manding the abolition of all unequal treaties as the first 
objectives of its foreign policy. But when the Western 
Powers, who have always pretended to show sympathy 
for China when the country gets mauled at the hands of a 
rival power, refused to translate their mutual sympathy 
into concrete action by voluntary surrender of their hold- 
ings, a serious anti-foreign movement broke out all over 
China. The Comintern, the Communist organization in 
China, was in power at that time and directing the 
activities of the Kuomintang, with the result that political 
propaganda, through handbills and inflammatory 
speeches, stirred the students and peasants to an unprec- 
edented pitch of anti-foreignism. Strangely enough, it 
was the United States that was attacked most viciously, 
but Great Britain, France and Japan were lacerated only 
a little bit less. 

The anti-foreign movement quickly spread and there 
were wild disturbances, with the murder of foreigners, 
particularly missionaries, and plunder of their property, 
at Hankow, Nanking, Kiukiang and Chungking. The 
"Shanghai Incident" broke out in May, 1925, coming as 
the culmination of a series of disorders resulting from 
various labor disputes. An attack on the Louza Police 
Station in Shanghai's International Settlement climaxed 
the anti-foreign demonstration, and when police were 
forced to fire on the mob, killing a number of Chinese, it 
appeared for a moment that there might be another up- 
rising similar to the T'Ai'ping or Boxer Rebellions against 
the foreigners. Quick dispatch of warboats by the Powers, 
together with the throwing up of strongly-manned barri- 
cades, caused the Shanghai demonstrators to retreat. 

By April, 1929, it was made plain that the Chinese 
Government intended to divert as much business and 


prosperity as possible from the Settlement and Conces- 
sion to the Chinese section of Shanghai through the de- 
velopment of new and more extensive facilities. These 
plans created a certain amount of tension between the 
foreign interests and the Chinese Government, and the 
Settlement became increasingly alarmed with the en- 
camping of the famous Nineteenth Route Army in the 
Shanghai district, which definitely was a serious menace 
to their "rights." 

The Nanking Government, i.e., the Kuomintang, at 
the same time (1929) issued a decree unilaterally abro- 
gating extraterritorial privileges of foreigners in China as 
from January, 1930. Perhaps seeing the inevitable writ- 
ten upon the wall, the powers undertook to negotiate the 
abandonment of their territorial privileges if given assur- 
ances that their "interests" and the lives of their na- 
tionals would be protected. The subject was discussed in 
general terms, and Britain, suddenly benevolent, retro- 
ceded the Kiukiang concession, which was no great loss, 
besides her concession at Amoy which did not af- 
fect the important International Settlement at Kulangsu, 
in Amoy's harbor and abrogated her lease on Wei- 
haiwei. At the same time, Belgium, who had very little 
at stake, retroceded her concession in Tientsin. At last, 
however, when January, 1930, rolled around, the Nan- 
king decree had been conveniently forgotten. It still is a 
matter of record at Nanking; and the concessions are 
still a matter of fact in the most important cities of China. 

THE EXTENT of the present concessions is not generally 
realized. According to the China Tear Book (1938), the 
Powers have economic and trade interests in Shanghai, 
Tientsin, Tsingtao, Hankow, Amoy and Canton. More 



Shanghai French Concession 

(The International 

Amoy American Concession 

Japanese Concession 

Canton British Concession 

French Concession 

Hankow Japanese Concession 

French Concession 

Soochow Japanese Concession 

Tientsin British Concession 

French Concession 

Italian Concession 

Japanese Concession 

Newchang British Concession 

There have been a total of ten concession retrocessions, 
however, which would indicate that up to the beginning 
of 1930 China had gradually begun to ease the hated 
foreigners off their soil and deprive them of their "sacred 
interests. 55 In that connection the following table is of 


Tientsin German 

Hankow German 
Tientsin Austrian 
Tientsin Russian 

Hankow Russian 
Hankow British 

Kiukiang British 
Chiankiang British 
Tientsin Belgian 
Amoy British 



1917 1st Special District 
(of Tientsin) 

" 2nd Special District 
1920 3rd Special District 

2nd Special District 
1927 3rd Special District 

(of Hankow) 
" Special District 




In Conse- 
quence of 
World War 



By treaty 




It stands to reason that in the present conflict between 
Japan and China the fact is ignored that one of the con- 
tributing factors in the entire war, was the Chinese re- 
sentment of the extraterritoriality enjoyed by foreigners, 
including Japan, which constituted a denial of Chinese 
sovereignty over ostensibly Chinese territory. From 1925 
to 1927 the Chinese vented their hatred for Britain and 
the United States to such an extent that it appeared a 
very serious probability that Great Britain if not also 
America would have to go to war with China to pre- 
serve her " rights." Then, the Chinese showed their hatred 
for the Japanese but even back of that there was also 
fury at all the imperialistic powers. 

In the present conflict, meantime, there is a curious 
paradox. Whereas in 1925 and even as late as 1938, the 
powers considered that only Japan could save them, they 
are now opposed to Japan and openly supporting China. 
It is not that they like the idea of China for the Chinese 
so much as they fear the Japanese competition. 

On July 24, by kowtowing to Japanese demands for 
closer cooperation in the building of the proposed New 
Order in East Asia, Great Britain's sun, therefore, began 
to set in China and now only the United States, among 
the great powers, holds fast to the principle of the "Open 

When Prime Minister Chamberlain announced the 
Anglo-Japanese accord in the House of Commons, fol- 
lowing conferences in Tokyo over the barricading of the 
British Concession in Tientsin, the balance of power 
which the British Empire had held in China since the in- 
famous Opium War, slipped from its grasp. Following the 
well-worn policy of appeasement in the face of a rising 
storm in Europe, the Prime Minister announced to an in- 
credulous world that Britain recognized "Japan's forces in 


China had special requirements for the purpose of safe- 
guarding their own security and maintaining public order 
in regions under their control," and that "His Majesty's 
Government fully recognizes the actual situation in 
China, where hostilities on a large scale are in progress." 

Many in both London and Tokyo interpreted this as 
meaning that Great Britain was virtually granting bellig- 
erent rights to the Japanese military, and was taking the 
side of Japan against China. The result was that high 
official circles in Washington were so aghast at what they 
interpreted as a "Far Eastern Munich" that they dropped 
a bombshell into the Oriental scene by abrogating the 
Trade Treaty of 191 1 . Ironically, it was the Japanese who 
had preserved the Open Door for Britain and the United 
States in Shanghai, just as they had helped Britain to 
preserve her concession at Tientsin during the Boxer War 
the same Open Door which she is now accused of slam- 
ming in the face of the West. 

This presents a perplexing problem to the Powers who 
refuse to believe that the "New Order" will maintain 
the Open Door with the only stipulation that the Door, 
to swing out, will do so only with "equal rights for all 
who cooperate" Under a nationalistic China, on the other 
hand, and in the improbable fact of a Chinese victory 
in the present conflict, there is no doubt that strong 
China will probably kick out all the powers. 

One thing is obvious, however, no matter who wins: 
by angering Japan, the United States will find that the 
"Door" will be pretty hard to reopen in the event of a 
Japanese victory; and in the case of a Chinese victory 
there will be no "Door" left at all. 

Liberalism Has Become the 
Servant of all isms. 

The Liquidation of the 

Liberal Tradition 


THE PAST EIGHT YEARS have witnessed the total ex- 
tinction of the liberal tradition in the United States. 
It has died not because everyone rejects liberal princi- 
ples; it has died because everyone accepts them. The 
same Republicans who fall into a frenzy each time Roose- 
velt delivers a fireside chat now swear allegiance to the 
very principles he glorifies. They abominate him only 
because they suspect him of using these principles as a 
mask to conceal his own dictatorship. In like manner, the 
Communists who, ten years ago, scorned liberal democ- 
racy now honor the shrine of Thomas Jefferson. They are 
the "twentieth century Americans." 

The universal popularity that liberalism enjoys today 
cannot be attributed to any successes it has won on na- 
tive or foreign soil. At home, the Roosevelt brand of 
liberalism has failed to cure the depression. Abroad the 
Rome-Berlin axis has gone from triumph to triumph. 
Yet it is difficult to find any American who does not be- 
lieve that the liberal tradition offers the only salvation to 
his own country and to the world. When theory and 
practice present such startling contradictions we must 
either deny the evidence of our senses or search for some 
new theory to explain the inexplicable. 



What is the theory of liberalism and where does it tell 
us we are going? Max Lerner has written the epitaph of 
the liberal tradition in a little book called It Is Later 
Than You Think and the fact that this book is presented 
as the final rallying-cry of the liberal cause serves only to 
underline its funereal implications. For Mr. Lerner finds 
nine different liberal programs working at cross-purposes 
within the New Deal which, he adds, "has not yet made 
up its mind as to the goal toward which it is traveling and 
the means by which it hopes to reach that goal." Need it 
be added that Mr. Lerner, as a staunch upholder of the 
liberal tradition, pins all his hopes for its survival on the 
election of Roosevelt for a third term? 

These hopes he embodies in his program of "planned 
democratic collectivism." It is in this direction that the 
New Deal will lead us. And what does "planned demo- 
cratic collectivism" mean? In so far as he puts forward 
specific proposals, he suggests that the government select 
"twenty or thirty" basic industries, estimate their con- 
sumption schedules at prices that would show a profit, 
and step up production according to allotments worked 
out by the "planning authority." And all this is to be 
achieved "through democratic processes." 

The point is not that Mr. Lerner stands out as a horri- 
ble example of liberalism in decay. Rather is he as bold 
and original a thinker as the liberal movement boasts. 
He does not deny the contradictions and failures of 
liberalism; he has no particular confidence in its in- 
evitable triumph. Yet none of the timid liberals has 
brought forth a program more remote from reality than 

"Every liberal, whatever his brand, brings to bear the 
moral emphasis." In this sentence Mr. Lerner goes to the 
very roots of the failure of liberalism. For to the liberal, 


"moral emphasis" is enough and relieves him, in his own 
view, of any further obligation. If he strikes moral atti- 
tudes no more seems to be required of him. 

This "moral emphasis" explains the popularity of lib- 
eral principles at a time when it is difficult to believe in 
anything more definite. The liberals, who are foggy 
enough even in the clearest weather, now seem no more 
confused than those who call themselves "realists," and 
since the liberals are repeating their old familiar slogans 
they at least give an impression of consistency and even 
of dependability. But those who were called liberals in 
the pre-Roosevelt days, now find themselves tucked in 
with such an odd assortment of bed-fellows that they 
feel more and more like strangers in their own house. 

THE NAME OF THAT HOUSE is, of course, Liberty Hall, and 
it welcomes all-comers. Since 1935 it has harbored the 
Communists and all their fellow-travelers, but no sooner 
had this noisy delegation arrived than it was followed by 
Congressman Martin Dies, announcing that he, too, was 
a liberal and that he had come to protect his fellow-liber- 
als from the contamination of Communism. Liberalism 
does not discriminate against a man's religion, so the 
Catholics have always been at home in Liberty Hall, and 
when the Dies Committee and the Communists stop 
shouting at each other, the voice of Monsigfior Fulton J. 
Sheen can be heard telling the radio audience that his 
Church offers the golden liberal mean between the ex- 
tremes of Communism and Fascism. Even the Nazis 
on the extreme right and the revolutionary supporters of 
Trotzky on the extreme left put in an occasional appear- 
ance to protest, in the name of the liberal tradition, 
against the injustices they suffer. 

But it is the dispute between the Communists and the 


Dies Committee that has revealed more clearly than 
anything else the paradox of the liberal tradition. This 
Committee points to the indisputable fact that a few 
Communists and Communist sympathizers have or- 
ganized and served on committees with a large number 
of liberals. These liberals variously referred to as 
"fellow- travelers," "innocents," "sheep," or just plain 
suckers are represented as a bumbling assortment of 
sentimental ineffectuals who turn to putty in the hands 
of a few Communists. 

Mr. J. B. Matthews, star witness for the Committee 
and now one of its "experts," recently wrote a book en- 
titled The Odyssey of a Fellow Traveler. He speaks as one 
who has been through the mill, organized "united front" 
drives, addressed "united front" meetings. His experi- 
ence with the Communists, however, now leads him to 
denounce them for almost every sin in the decalogue, 
notably that of bearing false witness, whereupon he pro- 
ceeds to base his case against them on Earl Browder's 
high-flown description of the Communist Party as "the 
conscious, moving, and directive force of the united front 
in all its phases." 

Mr. Matthews should really get around a little more. 
We fear what we do not know, and it would seem that 
Mr. Matthews shares the ignorant fears of most Ameri- 
cans on the subject of Communists. After all, Mr. 
Browder is a human being, subject to the same emotions 
as the rest of us. He is trying to make good on his job as 
Secretary General of the Communist Party of the United 
States and he therefore engages in the same kind of 
boasting that any head of any organization will go in for 
to promote himself and his beliefs. 

Not only does Mr. Matthews assume that all Commu- 
nists are an inhuman amalgam of discipline, ruthlessness, 


and corruption; his portrait of the liberal is equally ab- 
surd. Although the liberals far outnumber the Com- 
munists in all these "united front" groups and hold the 
most responsible positions, they appear incapable of in- 
dependent action. For instance, the Communists have 
helped create the American League for Peace and 
Democracy. They participated in the American Youth 
Congress. They have helped to organize the American, 
Newspaper Guild. When, therefore, Mrs. Roosevelt 
addresses the American Youth Congress, Mr. Matthews 
would have us believe that she has renounced all liberal 
principles and is, in effect, urging the younger generation 
to man the barricades. When Secretary Ickes speaks be- 
fore the Newspaper Guild, he is advocating Communism 
instead of democracy. And when Clark M. Eichelberger, 
director of the League of Nations Union, speaks under 
the auspices of the American League for Peace and 
Democracy he is lashing out at what Lenin once called 
the " thieves' kitchen at Geneva" and calling instead for 
the workers of the world to unite. 

All this confusion serves chiefly to conceal the simple 
fact that the liberals have taken over the Communists. 
Mrs. Roosevelt, Secretary Ickes, Dr. Eichelberger are 
making exactly the same kind of speeches they have 
made all their lives. It is the Communists who have 
changed. The reasons for their change need not detain 
us, but their conversion to liberalism, far from weakening 
the liberal tradition, introduces the only new element of 
strength it has tapped in years. For, thanks to the efforts 
of the Dies Committee, it has now become impossible to 
criticize any liberal movement with which anyone sus- 
pected of Communism is identified without being 
branded a Red-baiter. Thus, at a time when they were 
never so harmless as they are today, the liberals have not 


only equipped themselves with a new suit of protective 
armor; they have acquired a wholly undeserved reputa- 
tion for ruthlessness. 

The Communists, on the other hand, occupy no such 
happy position. Having dropped their revolutionary 
tactics for the moment at least they find then> 
selves burdened down with the whole dead weight of the 
liberal tradition. During the past twenty years, the Com- 
munist movement scored two major triumphs. It de- 
stroyed Tsarism in Russia and it took all the life out of 
the Second (Socialist) International in Western Europe. 
It is one of the ironies of history that the same Commu- 
nists who laid these two adversaries low are now succumb- 
ing themselves to liberalism and at a time, furthermore, 
when liberalism itself is in full retreat. 

FOR THE LIBERAL TRADITION has collapsed on two sepa- 
rate fronts the domestic and the foreign. Mr. Lerner's 
little book shows, for example, the infinite capacity for 
self-delusion of the liberal mind. It was written before the 
November, 1938, elections and appeared that fall. It 
assumed as most liberals continued to assume even 
after the results of those elections became clear that 
the majority of the American people favored every last 
detail of the Roosevelt program. Yet when several Sena- 
tors whose re-election and renomination Roosevelt 
opposed received, nevertheless, the support of the ma- 
jority at the polls and when these same Senators then 
proceeded to vote against some features of Mr. Roose- 
velt's program, the liberals accused the "Tories" of 
"sabotaging" the "popular will." At which point the 
"Tories" turned around and justified their conduct by 
appealing to the liberal tradition and denouncing the- 
bureaucratic, despotic attitude of the Executive. Thus 


one group assumes that the liberal tradition is identical 
with the Roosevelt program which in turn is identical 
with the popular will, while another group assumes that 
the liberal tradition is identical with the principles on 
which it was elected to office. A tradition subject to such 
varied interpretations is hardly distinguished for its 

Furthermore, quite apart from any definitions that 
any group may choose to associate with the liberal tradi- 
tion, the fact remains that the Roosevelt policies do, by 
and large, embody that tradition, for better or worse. 
And another fact is equally clear: these policies have 
proved something less than a success. This is not to say 
that the Republicans or the conservative Democrats 
have an alternative policy. It is not to say that the coun- 
try is ripe for radical changes. The point is that the New 
Deal has come to a dead end. 

One reason for the failure of the New Deal lies in the 
fear of dictatorship that has gripped all sections of the 
population. Protestants, labor leaders, liberals, and Jews 
fear Fascism. Catholics and conservatives fear Com- 
munism. A united front has therefore been established 
which denounces "dictatorships of the left and dictator- 
ships of the right" with fine impartiality: at the American 
Youth Congress even the Communists opposed "the 
dictatorship of Communism." It is bad enough to be on 
the defensive, but when a movement takes the defensive 
against two dangers coming from opposite directions, as 
the liberals do today, something is very wrong indeed. 

For if the Communist and Fascist menaces are both as 
great as the liberals believe, surely the part of wisdom is 
to let them destroy each other. If, however, one menace 
is clearly greater than the other, surely the part of wis- 
dom is to enlist the support of the lesser evil to destroy the 


greater one. Yet this course, too, the liberals avoid. In- 
stead, they have enlisted in a succession of crusades 
against imaginary enemies Fascism one week, Com- 
munism another, "totalitarianism in all its forms" a 

The fantastic misadventures of Roosevelt's foreign 
policy illustrate the futility of assuming, for example, that 
the world has become a vast battleground between the 
forces of democracy and the forces of Fascism. On Octo- 
ber 5, 1937, he issued his famous appeal for quarantine. 
One year later, the two chief "peace-loving nations" 
with whom he had offered to cooperate had sat down at 
Munich with the two chief "war-making" nations and 
carved up the liberal little Republic of Czechoslovakia. 
Indeed, Roosevelt subsequently boasted of having 
played a part in this drama when he sent a message to 
Hitler in the middle of September, begging him to settle 
the matter by negotiation. A call for quarantine at that 
time if it had meant anything would have meant 
war, and as a liberal humanitarian, Roosevelt naturally 
held back, with the result that he made himself a party 
to Hitler's triumph. 

Six months later a second attempt to keep the peace 
produced similar results. When Roosevelt sent his mes- 
sage to Hitler and Mussolini in the middle of April asking 
them to guarantee certain countries against aggression, 
Hitler promptly signed a series of non-aggression pacts 
with many of these countries notably those bordering 
upon Russia with the result that their objections 
to receiving similar guarantees from Russia and Britain 
a few weeks later caused the negotiations for an Anglo- 
Soviet Pact to drag through the summer without reach- , 
ing a conclusion. 

The point is not that Roosevelt wanted to prepare the 


way for Munich or to torpedo an Anglo-Soviet Pact. The 
point is that he proceeded on the assumption that the 
world was divided into a democratic and a Fascist group 
of powers. Yet when a crisis came, it turned out that the 
real alignment bore no resemblance to his imaginary con- 
ception of world politics. 

Not only was this assumption generally shared even by 
those Americans who disagreed with Roosevelt's domes- 
tic policy; they shared it because, to that extent at least, 
they clung to the liberal tradition. Yet events shattered 
this assumption just as rudely as they shattered the as- 
sumption of the New Dealers that the great majority of 
the American people supported their program. 

What happened was this: regardless of the merits or 
defects of Roosevelt's foreign policy, more and more 
American liberals have thrown themselves into the dis- 
cussion of a highly specialized subject of which they are 
completely ignorant. And not only are they ignorant; 
they approach the question of foreign policy with a set of 
moral assumptions which prevent them from ever appre- 
hending it. Thus, the pro-Roosevelt liberals become the 
moral front for the Paul V. McNutts and Henry L. Stim- 
sons who favor a thumping policy of imperial expansion 
in the Far East while the anti-Roosevelt liberals find 
themselves performing the same function for Hearst and 
Father Coughlin and their reactionary policies at home. 
Roosevelt's supporters believe that the issue is democ- 
racy versus Fascism; his opponents believe that it is war 
versus peace. They resemble each other only in that they 
bring moral judgments, and no others, to bear. 

THE LIBERAL TRADITION has come to grief not because it 
concerns itself with moral values, but because in doing so 
it closes its eyes to the real world, conjures up a world of 


the imagination, and then proceeds to give its morality 
free rein. If liberals confined themselves to writing books 
and articles and if nobody paid any attention to what 
they wrote, the study of liberalism would be confined to 
the back issues of The Nation and to the published works 
of its editors and contributors. But liberal ideas and atti- 
tudes continue to have an important influence on Ameri- 
can life. Goering once said that Hitler proceeded with 
"the assurance of a somnambulist"; the same thing ap- 
plies to those liberals who have entered public life where 
their conduct bears no relationship to the world around 

Yet the bankruptcy of liberalism does not mean that 
the liberals themselves are of no account. Although they 
move in a dream world of their own, they also function in 
the real world of human beings. Furthermore, their 
moral authority gives them so much importance that 
even their enemies have taken up their slogans. 

What, then, is the function of liberalism today? The 
liberal tradition came into existence with the rise of 
modern capitalism. It provided an intellectual and moral 
base for the society in which we now live. The free mar- 
ket, popular suffrage, civil and religious liberties, private 
property rights these are some of the institutions, ab- 
stractions, and hard realities that grew up with the lib- 
eral tradition. And if the liberal tradition no longer 
lives, then the world which brought it forth must be in 
bad shape, too. 

From this, some of the non-Communist disciples of 
Karl Marx conclude that the proletarian revolution is 
the only living force in the world today. At the moment 
it is perhaps as shadowy as the principle of "collective 
security" which the liberals still mumble about in their 
sleep. But instead of foreseeing the world- wide struggle 


between democracy and Fascism which the liberals look 
forward to with mixed emotions, the simon-pure Marx- 
ists anticipate a world-wide struggle between the workers 
and the capitalists. 

Meanwhile, the liberals yearn for what might have 
been if the Tweedledum Democrats had not sabotaged 
the New Deal and if Neville Chamberlain had not be- 
trayed democracy. Because those two defeats, the one 
domestic, the other foreign, look like mere accidents of a 
capricious fate, the liberals still cling to the policies that 
might have worked if events had only taken exactly the 
opposite course from the one they actually followed. 

But if no New Deal can save capitalist democracy at 
home; if the coming world war isn't going to be a death 
struggle between democracy and Fascism what are the 
prospects? Perhaps the best way to answer that question 
is to stand liberalism on its head and see what happens. 
This doesn't mean that Fascism wins. On the contrary. It 
means that the democratic-Fascist struggle is a sham- 
battle and that the liberals have created the bogey-man of 
Fascism at home and the delusion of an anti-Fascist 
crusade abroad in order to find an outlet for their passion 
for "moral emphasis." 

At home, the interest of those who profit most from the 
present order is not to destroy that order but to preserve 
it. The British ruling classes learned that lesson long ago 
and have used the liberal movement to install the same 
kind of reforms that our New Deal has established. Some- 
times the Liberals and the Labor Party put through these 
reforms, but usually the Conservatives kept matters in 
their own hands. 

In the United States, on the other hand, long-con- 
tinued prosperity made our economic royalists so soft in 
the head that they ignored the necessity for reforms and 


therefore the New Deal came into existence to impose 
them. Today, however, the only function of the New 
Deal and indeed of the whole liberal movement is 
to come to some arrangement with the conservatives 
since neither can exist without the other. In other words, 
unless the National Association of Manufacturers en- 
dorses the Wagner Act, unless the American Bankers 
Association comes out for social security, our governing 
class must cease to govern. And the situation of the liberal 
movement is equally desperate. Unless it becomes the 
moral front for the conservatives, it has no other cause to 
work for. A marriage of necessity would therefore seem to 
be the order of the day. 

Should war intervene, such a marriage would even be- 
come a shot-gun affair, in every sense. Then, more than 
ever, the conservatives would need the moral authority of 
the liberals and it is already clear that Barkis is willing. In 
England it was a Liberal Government that led the coun- 
try into the Boer War and the World War; it was also a 
liberal President who led the United States into the 
World War. Already, most of our liberals have made it 
clear that they regard war as a lesser evil than that 
Fascist world which now seems to them an imminent 

In short, our conservatives hold all the cards while the 
liberals have acquired a monopoly of moral principles 
only. In the name of saving America from Fascism, the 
liberals can provide the conservatives with the slogans 
they need to preserve at least the forms of capitalist 
democracy. In the name of saving the world from 
Fascism, the liberals can provide the conservatives with 
the slogans they need for an imperialist war. And when 
the smoke of battle clears, the kingdom of our economic 
royalists will extend to the ends of the earth. 

Fresh Information about the 
European Sojourn of the 
Third President. 

Jefferson in Paris 


ON A CERTAIN SUMMER DAY in the year 1784 there 
arrived in Paris a tall, sandy-haired gentleman 
from Virginia. He was none other than the recently 
appointed Minister Plenipotentiary from the new-born 
United States of America. Although he was already 
famous in both worlds as the author of the Declaration 
of Independence, no fanfare greeted his arrival. He 
came as unostentatiously as did a great countryman who 
flew out of the skies nearly a century and a half later. 
Even the police, who have left a most piquant note on 
Franklin, paid no attention to Jefferson. He settled him- 
self quietly, for the time being, in the Hotel d'Orleans 
and took up his work. It was his mission to associate 
himself with the veteran Benjamin Franklin and the dour 
John Adams in negotiating treaties of commerce. 
Within a year this had been accomplished, Franklin had 
returned to America and Jefferson remained as the 
Minister from the United States. His position in Paris, 
in society, in the world of art and science was to become 

To succeed Benjamin Franklin was no easy task. He 
had been in Paris since 1776, when he had come as a 
commissioner from the Continental Congress to enlist 



the aid of France in behalf of the struggling colonies. He 
liked the French people and they adored him. It is no 
exaggeration to say that he was idolized by all classes of 
society. u The account you have of the vogue I am here 
has some truth in it," he wrote his sister. " Perhaps few 
strangers in France have had the good fortune to be so 
universally popular." A great reputation as a scientist 
had, to be sure, preceded him; his electrical experiments 
were the wonder of the world. With his simple dress and 
the great fur cap that came almost to his eyes he was, 
likewise, a refreshing novelty. He enjoyed posing as an 
original in the most artificial society the world has 
perhaps ever known, and he was not unaware either of 
the sensation he created or the advantage it gave him. 

At the time of Franklin's sojourn France was, as 
Gouverneur Morris truly remarked, a woman's country. 
Women dominated the intellectual as well as the social 
life to an unprecedented degree. "All one has to do," the 
Duke de Levis observed, "is to please women, for they 
control public opinion." It is not surprising, therefore, 
that a man with Franklin's weakness for the fair sex 
should have had an immense success and should have 
felt completely happy in such an atmosphere. Although 
he was not a young man when he arrived in Paris, he 
had, indeed, already reached his threescore years and 
ten his admirers were legion. 

IT WAS INTO SUCH A milieu that Jefferson stepped when he 
arrived in Paris in 1785, but he was not wholly to take 
part in it. Franklin's world was that of the passing ancien 
regime. Jefferson came as a representative of the new and 
revolutionary spirit that had already begun to creep in 
and that was destined to sweep the country. He was to 
help establish a new order in which petticoat rule was 


banished. Furthermore, he did not play the role of a 
celebrity. He had no pose and no eccentricities. His 
seriousness and his singleness of purpose, his determina- 
tion that his mission in Europe should be one of educa- 
tion both for himself, and through him, for the people of 
his country, set him apart. He snatched at everything new 
with what might be called intellectual avarice and trans- 
mitted it to the United States he had done so much in 

In return the French took him to their hearts. His 
method of thought appealed to the French patriots, 
indeed, he had anticipated them by a dozen years. He 
was a living example of a man who had helped rescue his 
country from oppression. Had he not "sworn on the altar 
of God eternal hostility to every form of tyranny over the 
mind of man"? The publication of his "Notes on Vir- 
ginia," not long after his arrival in France, added 
greatly to Jefferson's reputation among the men of 
letters and philosophers, and enjoyed an enormous vogue. 

Strangely enough Jefferson was as popular at court as 
he was with the French people. By his straightforwardness 
and obvious honesty, qualities unusual in the politics of 
the old world, he won the respect of the Count de 
Vergennes who, at that time, controlled French foreign 
policy. Jefferson modestly recounted his triumph when 
he wrote: "The Count de Vergennes had the reputation, 
with the diplomatic corps, of being wary and slippery in 
his diplomatic intercourse; and so he might be with those 
whom he knew to be slippery and double-faced them- 
selves. As he saw I had no indirect views, practised no 
subtleties, meddled in no intrigues, pursued no concealed 
object, I found him as frank, as easy of access to reason, as 
any man with whom I had ever done business." 

Jefferson's reaction to his new environment was dual. 


He distinguished sharply in his feelings between the 
French people and French society. In his famous letter 
to Mrs. William Bingham describing the day of a French 
lady of fashion, his contempt for the idle aristocrat is but 
thinly veiled. On the other hand, he writes Mrs. Adams, 
"I do love this people with all my heart and think that 
with a better religion, a better form of government and 
their present governors, their condition and country 
would be most enviable." 

In writing Charles Bellini, not long after his arrival, 
Jefferson sums up his impressions. "Behold me at length 
on the vaunted scene of Europe ! It is not necessary for 
your information that I should enter into details con- 
cerning it. But you are, perhaps, curious to know how 
this scene has struck a savage of the mountains of Amer- 
ica. Not advantageously, I assure you. I find the general 
fate of humanity here most deplorable. . . . It is a true 
picture of that country to which they say we shall pass 
hereafter, and where we are to see God and His angels in 
splendor, and crowds of the damned trampled under 
their feet. While the great mass of the people are thus 
suffering under physical and moral oppression, I have 
endeavored to examine more nearly the condition of the 
great, to appreciate the true value of the circumstances of 
their situation, which dazzle the bulk of the spectators 
and, especially, to compare it with that degree of happi- 
ness which is enjoyed in America by every class of people. 
Intrigues of love occupy the younger, and those of ambi- 
tion, the elder part of the great. Conjugal love having no 
existence among them, domestic happiness, of which 
that is the basis, is utterly unknown. In lieu of this are 
substituted pursuits which nourish and invigorate mor- 
bid passions, and which offer only moments of ecstasy, 
amidst days and months of restlessness and torment." 


ON THE SEVENTEENTH OF MAY Jefferson had his first 
audience with the King and Queen. The Gazette de 
France for the 20th of May contained a notice of the 
interview, but curiously enough there is no comment on 
the new minister in any of the newspapers or journals, no 
indication of the impression he made. And Jefferson him- 
self has left no account of his presentation at court. Later 
he was to write: "The King loves business, economy, 
order, and justice, and wishes sincerely the good of his 
people; but he is irascible, rude, very limited in his under- 
standing, and religious, bordering on bigotry. He has no 
mistress, loves his Queen and is too much governed by 
her. She is capricious, like her brother, and governed by 
him; devoted to pleasure and expense; and not remarka- 
ble for any other vices or virtues." 

Within a few months of his arrival Jefferson was es- 
tablished in a handsome hotel on the corner of the Rue 
Neuve-Berry and the Champs Elysees. Unlike his pre- 
decessors, he did not rent a furnished house nor did he 
permit one to be loaned him. At first he toyed with the 
idea of renting furniture but, as he writes, "those who 
hire furniture asked me forty percent a year for the use 
of it. It was better to buy, therefore; and this article, 
clothes, carriage, etc., have amounted to considerably 
more than the advance ordered" - that is, two quarters' 

Although Jefferson says he has taken up his "outfit on 
a scale as small as could be admitted," the inventory of 
his furnishings permits us to glimpse not only a man of 
sensitive, artistic and scientific tastes, but gives us a 
glamorous picture of how a gentleman of fashion and 
distinction furnished his house at the close of the eight- 
eenth century. Jefferson may have lamented, "I have 
already paid 2,800 livres, and have still more to pay," 


but, thanks to his good taste and judgment, he had a 
very handsome establishment. 

The house had been designed by the architect Chal- 
grin and the salon was adorned with allegorical paintings 
from the brush of Berthelemy. Curtains of blue damask 
hung at certain of the windows in the house, crimson 
damask at others. There were no less than fifty-nine 
chairs upholstered in red or blue damask, some in red 
morocco, others in velour d' Utrecht. In addition his 
hotel was adorned with sofas, tables, mirrors, paintings, 
statuary in short that infinite variety of practical and 
ornamental objects that go to make up a great establish- 
ment. It is noteworthy how he conformed to the French 
fashion in purchasing his furniture, how few provincial 
ideas he sought to impose. His French friends were, as a 
result, completely chez eux. 

To this house repaired the artistic and liberal world of 
Paris. Owing to Jefferson's wide interests the society was 
very cosmopolitan. His friends, inevitably, were not the 
butterflies of society, but people of serious interests, be it 
in belles lettres, philosophy, gardening, or the arts. Jeffer- 
son never aspired to know anyone because of rank or 
social position. His intimates were painters, sculptors, 
architects and the more liberal and enlightened among 
the nobility, such as Lafayette, the Duke de la Roche- 
foucauld and the venerable Duchess d'Anville. 

JEFFERSON'S FRIENDS IN PARIS fell into two groups the 
artists and the liberals among the aristocracy. He early 
came in touch with Clerisseau over the design for the 
capitol at Richmond, Virginia. Architecture had been 
Jefferson's passion for many years. He was now not only 
able to associate with the leading architects, such as 
Legrand, Molinos and Clerisseau, but to gratify his eye 


as well. His letter to Madame de Tesse from Nismes, in 
1787, begins like a poem a panegyric to architecture: 
"Here I sit, Madame, gazing whole hours at the Maison 
Quarree, like a lover at his mistress. The stocking weav- 
ers and silk spinners around it consider me a hypochon- 
driac Englishman, about to write with a pistol the last 
chapter of his history. This is the second time I have been 
in love since I left Paris. The first was with a Diana at 
the Chateau de Laye-Epinaye in Beaujolois, a delicious 
morsel of sculpture by M. A. Slodtz. This, you will say, 
was in rule, to fall in love with a female beauty; but with 
a house ! It is out of all precedent. No, Madame, it is not 
without precedent in my own history. While in Paris I 
was violently smitten with the Hotel de Salm, and used to 
go to the Tuileries almost daily, to look at it. . . ." 

Jefferson had not been in Paris many months before he 
was on terms of intimacy with Count d'Angiviller, the 
directeur general des bailments du roi. Indeed the Count, 
Jefferson, Richard Cosway, the miniature painter, and 
his lovely wife, Maria, who would gladly have been more 
than a friend to the American Minister, formed an in- 
separable quartet. Together they wandered through the 
garden spots encircling Paris like so many happy figures 
for U embarquement pour Cythere. 

In the summer of 1786 John Trumbull arrived bring- 
ing two of his paintings to be engraved. Jefferson per- 
suaded him to stay and study in Paris, later go to Rome. 
It thus came about that he spent some time with Jefferson 
and the two visited such famous collections as those at 
Versailles, of the Count D'Orsay and the Count d'An- 
giviller, where, Trumbull remarks, "is a collection of the 
most precious things I have seen." Jefferson was so 
attracted to Trumbull that he offered him a post as his 
secretary, in 1789, but Trumbull declined, saying, "The 


most powerful notion I had or have for engaging in or 
continuing the study of painting, has been the wish of 
commemorating the great events of our country's 

It is not surprising that Jefferson should have found the 
society of artists congenial, for he had taken a lively 
interest in the arts since youth. We know that when he 
was Governor of Virginia he had carried with him to the 
Governor's Palace "2 pictures, 6 large pictures and 17 
prints." When he went to Europe he determined to en- 
large his collection, as well as to increase his knowledge of 
the arts, and this threw him into contact with the painters 
and sculptors from whom he proposed to buy. Jefferson 
soon became familiar in the circle dominated by Houdon. 
One of his earliest missions in Paris had been to per- 
suade Houdon, then at the height of his fame, to execute 
a statue of Washington. Houdon had more commissions 
than he had time to fill them but, inspired by the hope of 
doing an equestrian figure of Washington, he finally 
permitted himself to be persuaded and set sail in the 
summer of 1785 with Jefferson's recommendation that 
"he is without rivalship (in sculpture), being employed 
from all parts of Europe in whatever its capital." 

When Jefferson had been in Paris but a few months he 
was assiduously buying "2 small laughing busts, 2 pic- 
tures of heads, a Hercules in plaister, 5 paintings (heads), 
a picture with six figures," perhaps with not too much 
regard for quality. Very soon a definite plan had evolved 
to collect pictures and busts of his famous compatriots 
or contemporaries. From Houdon he purchased a bust of 
John Paul Jones, and paid a thousand francs for one of 
himself. This was exhibited in plaster in the Salon of 1789 
as "M. Sesseron, envoy e des etats de la Virginie." The 
marble bust was subsequently sent to Monticello, where 


it was destroyed in Jefferson's lifetime by the carelessness 
of a servant. 

Another sculptor whose studio Jefferson frequented 
was Ceracchi, an Italian who was extremely popular at 
the English and Austrian courts, although he had neither 
the gifts nor the reputation of Houdon. Jefferson, how- 
ever, admired his work, which was of a pseudo-classical 
character, sufficiently to buy busts of Washington, 
Columbus and Americus Vespucius. Ceracchi also mod- 
eled Jefferson and wrote him in 1793 that he intended 
making the bust a present. It was, indeed, sent, and is 
still to be seen at Monticello. Two years later, however, a 
bill arrived. Whether Jefferson paid it or not we do not 
know, but we do know that for ten years, when Ceracchi 
had fallen into disgrace and was finally executed, there 
were regular appeals for help from Therese Ceracchi, his 
wife, whom Jefferson had never known. 

subsequently, with Lafayette's aunt, Madame de Tesse, 
Jefferson was early introduced to the leading political 
and intellectual circles in France. He was prompt to win 
for himself a warm place there. Soon he counted among 
his friends and admirers the Countess d'Houdetot, who 
had played so great a role in Rousseau's life, the Duke de 
la Rochfoucauld, one of the greatest liberals among the 
French nobles, the Duchesse d'Anville, Madame Necker, 
wife of the statesman, and Madame de Stael, perhaps the 
most brilliant woman of her day. This group regarded 
Jefferson as the most conspicuous American intellectual 
in Paris and he was a frequent visitor at the salons of these 

There have been preserved various accounts of the 
French salon, but none gives a more charming picture 


than that left by the amiable Vigee Lebrun, the artist. 
It is in such a setting that we may well picture Jefferson. 
In his day the conversation was likely to turn to politics, 
whereas in Franklin's time "discussing character," as 
gossiping has been called, and a play of wit were stressed. 
"He can form no opinion of what society once was in 
France," our commentator writes, "who has not seen the 
time when, all the day's business absolved, a dozen or 
fifteen people meet at the house of a hostess to finish 
their evening. The ease and the refined merriment which 
reigned at these light evening repasts gave them a charm 
which dinners never have. A sort of confidence and in- 
timacy prevailed among the guests; it was by such sup- 
pers that the good society of Paris showed its superiority 
to that of all Europe. At my house, for instance, we met 
about nine o'clock. No one ever talked politics, but we 
chatted about literature and told anecdotes of the hour. 
Sometimes we diverted ourselves by acting charades, and 
sometimes the Abbe Delille or the poet Lebrun read us 
some of their compositions. At ten o'clock we sat down to 
table. . . . The hours passed like minutes, and at mid- 
night the company broke up." 

Among the warmest of Jefferson's friends in Paris was, 
without question, Madame de Tesse. She was a woman 
of rare intelligence and ready sympathy who shared 
Jefferson's interests to an unusual degree. Although she 
was one of the ladies in waiting to the Queen, she pro- 
claimed herself a republican and many "republicans of 
the first feather," as Gouverneur Morris observed, were 
to be seen at her house. Here Jefferson was regarded as a 
hero and worshipped as such. It was not politics, how- 
ever, but a mutual love of the arts which formed the 
basis of his friendship with Madame de Tesse. 

The Comte and Gomtesse de Tesse occupied the cha- 


teau of Chaville, not far from Versailles. It was sur- 
rounded by superb gardens arranged in the latest taste. 
At appropriate spots were to be found such romantic 
features as a battlemented tower, a summer house, or a 
pair of classic columns against the dark background of 
evergreens. Jefferson, who had toured the English gar- 
dens in 1786, found Chaville a delight. He and Madame 
de Tesse never wearied of discussing the problems of 
gardening and of horticulture, and to the end of a long 
life they found pleasure in exchanging letters on botanical 
and horticultural questions. 

On June 21, 1785, Jefferson wrote Abigail Adams: 
"I took a trip yesterday to Sannois and commenced an 
acquaintance with the old Countess Houdetot. I received 
much pleasure from it and hope it has opened a door of 
admission for me to the circle of literati with which she 
is environed." Jefferson was not to be disappointed in 
his hopes. The "old countess," she was at this time fifty- 
five years old and a grandmother, took an immediate 
fancy to the serious-minded American Minister. 

The salon of the Countess d'Houdetot had been one of 
the most famous in Paris and she now continued to hold 
sway in her retirement in the little village of Sannois, 
after her famous love affair with Rousseau. Here, at the 
Maison de la Briche, the countess held court and re- 
ceived the homage of her admirers. Setting herself up 
anew, as it were, Madame d'Houdetot was able to cast 
away all ties to the formality of the eighteenth century 
and, in her gardens, give expression to the incoming 
spirit of romanticism. We read of her retreat: "It is small, 
but all the surroundings, the fountains, the gardens and 
the park, have a certain air of wildness. Large basins of 
water, overrunning their brims, are covered with rush 
and marshy weeds. There is an ancient bridge in ruins, 


enveloped in moss, and groves which the shears of the 
gardener have never touched. Trees are planted with no 
regard for symmetry, their branches intertwining as na- 
ture wills, and springs gush forth from their natural 
openings. It is not a large place, but it is a place where 
one can easily lose oneself." 

Amid such scenes Jefferson enjoyed the society of "the 
circle of literati" to which he aspired but he was never 
quite to become one of them. Madame d'Houdetot might 
describe Jefferson as "un esprit sage et humain, un 
caractere digne de celui de Franklin et de Washington, 
un homme instruit, acheve et aimable," she might cherish 
an admiration for America that was almost fantastic, 
yet she never achieved quite the rapprochement with 
Jefferson that she had with Franklin. 

Jefferson, for his part, probably failed to find in Ma- 
dame d'Houdetot the warm heart and the completely 
sympathetic understanding that he found in Madame de 
Tesse. Their conversation and their letters over a period 
of years dealt largely with politics. Jefferson was never 
able to pour out his heart as he had to Madame de Tesse 
at Nismes, or, on a vastly different occasion, to the lovely 
Maria Cosway on that October evening when he said 
farewell to her forever. 

IT WAS NOT ONLY in the salons of these ladies and in the 
more formal dinner parties, where the gentlemen stood 
stiffly about, hat under arm, that Mr. Jefferson and his 
circle sought recreation and amusement. The Paris of 
1785 provided quite as many diversions as the Paris of 
today and the "savage from the mountains of America" 
lost no opportunity of enjoying them. His pocket account- 
book, that tattle-tale of his life, reveals his real passion 
for music and the theatre. To be sure, he might gratify 


his insatiable curiosity by paying a few francs to see a 
balloon ascension or a musical pig, but his real diversions 
were the ordinary ones of the fashionable Parisian of the 

The most popular entertainment of the time was the 
concert spiritual. These concerts, not sacred, as one might 
tend to think, were held in the Tuileries at half past six 
in the evening. It was customary for the person of fashion 
to stroll for an hour or so in the beautiful gardens of the 
palace, chatting with the friends he met, before entering 
the hall for the concert. A variety of chamber music, 
songs and soloists constituted a concert spirituel in Jeffer- 
son's day. 

Jefferson was almost as fond of the theatre as he was of 
music and now, for the first time, he was able to gratify 
this taste to his heart's content. We find him patronizing 
equally, and with great pleasure, the Theatre Italien which 
was given over largely to comedy, and the Theatre Fran- 
gais, still famous today. 

Perhaps the most fashionable and most popular place 
of amusement at this time, and one which Jefferson 
frequently visited, was the Palais Royal. The Duke and 
Duchess of Orleans lived in the palace itself but the 
gardens and the theatre, or opera house, as it was often 
called, were open to the public. Vigee Lebrun, who was 
approaching the zenith of her fame at this period, has 
left us a charming picture of how a summer evening was 
passed in the royal gardens: 

On Sundays and on saints' days, after hearing mass, my 
mother and my stepfather took me to the Palais Royal for a 
walk. The gardens were then far more spacious and beautiful 
than they are now, strangled and straightened by the houses 
enclosing them. There was a very broad and long avenue on 
the left, arched by gigantic trees, which formed a vault im- 


penetrable to the rays of the sun. There good society assembled 
in its best clothes. The opera house was hard by the palace. In 
summer the performance ended at half past eight, and all 
elegant people left even before it was over, in order to ramble in 
the garden. It was the fashion for the women to wear huge 
nosegays which, added to the perfumed powder sprinkled in 
everybody's hair, really made the air one breathed quite 
fragrant. ... I have known these assemblies to last until two 
in the morning. There was music by moonlight, out in the open, 
artists and amateurs sang songs; there was playing on the harp 
and guitar . . . crowds flocked to the spot. 

Jefferson was destined to enjoy this life, so different 
from what he had known and yet so sympathetic to him, 
for only four short years. The moonlit evenings, the 
music, the visits to the palaces and gardens about Paris, 
the association with the intellectual aristocracy of Europe 
came to a sudden end in 1789 when he went back to the 
United States. He had every hope of returning to France, 
but he was shortly made Secretary of State and he was 
never again to see this country he had grown to love. His 
friendships and his connections, however, did not cease 
and for the next forty years Mr. Jefferson not only corre- 
sponded with his old friends but he acted as a magnet that 
drew many members of his Paris circle to the United 


v./y gv ; 

A Plea for Wkr/&s-a Boon 
to Youth. 

I Want To Go to War! 



IF I RIGHTLY UNRAVEL the riddle of census-figures, there 
are considerably over 10,000,000 American couples 
who have children. I sincerely believe that what I am 
about to say concerning my wife and myself expresses a 
profound conviction of pretty much all these people con- 
cerning themselves. 

My wife and I are mature, have a pair of youngsters, a 
little home, great desire for quiet. Nevertheless, we want 
to go to war; not in the pride of the totalitarians, nor in 
the rage of the anti- totalitarians. However, every bit as 
much. Not in the spirit of nationalistic assertion: in the 
spirit of patriotic commonsense. 

Those children of ours, a boy of eighteen years, a girl 
of seventeen, belong to tomorrow. Tomorrow ought to 
want them. Today does not need my wife and me. So my 
wife and I want to go to war. 

We are neither jingoes nor pacifists. We disapprove of 
every variety of dictatorship. We still have faith in the 
American conception of democracy and, although ad- 
vocates of domestic defense, should prefer to see America 
refuse ever again to fight or umpire any of Europe's 
battles. But we humbly feel that, if foreign fighting must 
be done, then, as modern ingenuity has made the husks 



equally salable with the grain in the market for certain 
foodstuffs, so government should adopt methods which 
will save the human grain and employ only the human 
husks for cannon-fodder. We dislike the thought of 
young fellows being killed or maimed, of young girls' 
lives being ruined, for the sake of our comfort, or what is 
called security especially when the sacrificial lists are 
likely to include our own boy and girl. 


Don't lie awake nights in the hope that it isn't coming, 
for even if England omits to guarantee our frontiers, war 
will come. Although 

The little green tents where the soldiers sleep, 
And the children play, and the women weep 
Are covered with flowers today, 

there will be plenty of fresh brown mounds by the side of 
those green ones tomorrow. 

Why? And what to do about it? 

Solomon was right, as usual, when he said, "The thing 
that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is 
done is that which shall be done." Humanity's athletic 
emotions know no more ancient manifestation than the 
manifestation of war. It has always remained our planet's 
most popular open-air sport for the applauding on- 

Now the world-mind is demon-driven by that war im- 
pulse. The urgings of Sabine Bellona are quite as audible 
under dictators' and anti-dictators' declarations of a will- 
to-amity as they are clamorous in the alternating threats 
of battle. 

Is this one of the mornings when, through propaganda 
offices, over the air or on the news-cables, the nations talk 


Peace? At the opening of the League of Nations' late and 
unlamented Disarmament Conference, the late and 
lamented Frank Simonds wrote: "Governments are 
never so near to war as when they meet to cement a 
perpetual peace." Along about 300 A.D., St. Isidore of 
Pelusium said: "When men talk of peace, there we see 
them making ready for battle." 

Or is this one of those other mornings? One of those 
mornings when defiances are ripping the air like static 
and doing about as much immediate damage? When 
Germany is bragging, "I can lick you with one hand tied 
behind my back," England is taunting, "Come on and 
try it !" Are we justified in seeking here a truth correlative 
to that which was formulated by the Egyptian eyegete 
and modernized by the Washington newspapermen a 
hope that when the war-lords rattle their sabres, they are 
secretly anxious to beat them into ploughshares as well as 
frighten their enemies' guns into Screeno-punches? 

Such a correlative truth, if it exists, is a temporary 
whim, not an eternal verity. "The thing that hath been, 
it is that which shall be." Those distant war-lords, of 
whatever nationality, are dutiful sons of Mars, and they 
in this alone like the Lord of Peace must be about a 
Father's business. 

Nor they only; their agents also, some over here, are 
spreading seeds. The war is coming for this country, too; 
a foreign war, partly native woven, partly foreign ready- 
made. Economic necessity, as directed into political 
channels by diplomats and politicians, will see to that; 
alien and indigenous politicians with too many worries at 
home, ably aided by our Neutrality Laws and by the 
altruistic efforts of professional pacifists whom Hitlers 
have maddened. Never mind, just now, who will be the 
aggressor; the enemy is always the aggressor. 


- Already, every move is being made to "get America 
in" that was made so successfully after the outbreak of 
the latest World War, but now those moves are being 
made earlier in the game. Every argument is being put 
forward that was put forward then only a few so- 
called "realistic" arguments are being added. The 
melody is the same they are simply swinging it. 

THERE is NO END to the reasons why we must go to war ! 
We must go to war with Japan, in order to save our trade 
with China, notwithstanding the fact that our exports to 
Japan are infinitely greater than our exports to China. 
We must join Great Britain, France and their allies in a 
war against Germany, Italy and their allies, in order to 
promote racial and religious tolerance the sort of ra- 
cial tolerance that Great Britain exercises in India, the 
type of religious tolerance that Roumania, ally of France, 
exhibits to the Jew. Or we must join the same coalition 
Great Britain and France, Poland and (if they can get 
her) Russia in order to save democracy again the 
sort of democracy that the Warsaw Government pro- 
motes within its own borders, the type of democracy that 
the impulsive Soviets offer by their one-party system. 

And of course we must bring along to the party our 
own allies. We must secure the help of the Latin Ameri- 
can democracies, among the twenty-one we courted at 
the Lima husking-bee fourteen of which were frank dicta- 

Finally, before I serve the meat of my menu, it should 
be remembered that this coming conflict is going to work 
with a Hollywood damn-the-expense whoop. It is going 
to be a "super-de-luxe" Armageddon. It is going to be to 
1914-18 what Union Pacific is to The Birth of a Nation. 

One has been told so by experts both ex parte and par- 


tisan: by such able war-lovers as Captain B. H. Liddell 
Hart, Military Correspondent and Advisor on Defense 
to the London Times; by Bruno Jasienski, Secretary to 
the Union of Revolutionary Writers; by Dr. Paul Joseph 
Goebbels, Reich Minister for National Enlightenment. 
War is Hell, and this will prove a hell of a war; a liberal- 
ists 5 and pacifists' war against Europe's New (but not 
very new) Caesarism. On every front, novel passions will 
operate novel engines of destruction. 

There is visible one little gleam of hope. War is in- 
sanity, but perhaps its craziness can be, if ever so 
slightly, tempered. War is the world's worst waste, but 
perhaps its wastefulness can be, if ever so slightly, a little 
reduced. For war's worst waste is war's waste of youth. 

The other day, I was talking with one of America's two 
greatest military experts. In the enthusiasm of pure sci- 
ence, he explained how, thanks to our patriotic inventors, 
our enterprising businessmen, American means of war- 
waging have kept pace with invention and enterprise in 
our less glorious industries. He said: 

"Why, war-mechanization has reached a point where 
hardly any time need be lost in training the soldiers! 
Some of our most destructive devices could be operated 
by babies!" 

I wanted to ask whether, if parents invested money in 
the civil education of their son, and if then a mentally 
deficient Government seized him and sent him to military 
slaughter, that wasn't highway robbery. But I refrained, 
because I saw that he was after those babies for his army. 
So I laid a trap for him, and admiringly demanded: 

"If a child in first childhood could do it, could it be 
done by a man approaching second childhood?" 

"It could be done," this zealot assured me, "by the 
village idiot!" 


Whereupon I knew that I had all the experts where I 
wanted them. 

Babies? Why not let George do it old George 
good old George? 

CAST YOUR MIND BACK to its schooldays when you had to 
read Swift's Modest Proposal for the poverty-stricken Irish 
of two hundred and ten years ago: that poor adults should 
fatten their children and sell them to the kitchens of their 
more fortunate neighbors. The kindly Dean estimates 
that there are 120,000 children being born of poor par- 
ents each year in Ireland and proceeds: 

I have been assured by a very knowing American of my ac- 
quaintance in London, that a young healthy child ... is at a 
year old most delicious, nourishing and wholesome food, whether 
stewed, roasted, baked or boiled; and I make no doubt that it 
will equally serve in a fricassee or ragout. 

I do therefore offer it to public consideration that of the 120,- 
000 children already computed, 20,000 may be reserved for 
breed, whereof only one fourth part to be males, which is more 
than we allow to sheep, black cattle or swine. . . . That the re- 
maining 100,000 may, at a year old, be offered in sale to the 
persons of quality and fortune through the kingdom; always ad- 
vising the mother to let them suck plentifully in the last month. 
... A child will make two dishes at an entertainment for 
friends; and when the family dines alone, the fore and hind 
quarters will make a reasonable dish, and seasoned with a little 
pepper or salt will be very good boiled on the fourth day, espe- 
cially in winter. 

Over all the world, with war as knife and fork, we 
parents have for generations been eating our own chil- 
dren. Now it is only fair, since it is not militarily unde- 
sirable, that our children should be given a chance to eat 

Admit that the coming conflict is a necessity, a possible 


means of temporarily relieving the country's economic 
agony, a reliable method of at least easing the Depression- 
Recession strangle hold on our munition industry. We 
now know that the grand game of war is played with two 
factors on each side. 

Into the question of non-combatant fatalities, at pres- 
ent made so much of, I do not enter, for the slaughter of 
civilians in martial disputes is neither so recent as easy- 
chair specialists assume, nor yet a detail with which pure 
military science can be logically expected to concern it- 
self. There remain, then, first, the new factor of effort- 
lessly operated machines to kill opponents' geese, and 
second, the constant factor of geese for the opponents' 
machines to kill. 

As REASONABLE PEOPLE, let's welcome Hell reasonably. 
The old are the property of the past let us rejoin it. 
The young have a lien on the future, the future has a 
mandate upon them. We ought to avoid the worst error 
of 1917. 

We should keep the present generation of youth at 
home, reserving for war-industries such young man- 
power as these industries require, and devoting the rest to 
the useful employment of fitting themselves for the para- 
mount needs of post-war reconstruction. Since it stands 
to reason that the killing of a man over forty years is less 
antisocial than the killing of a man under thirty, let's 
line our front lines with the middle-aged and aged. 

Not conscription from eighteen to thirty conscrip- 
tion from forty into senility. And there is no reason for 
excluding women. 

Don't say that old civilian dogs can't be taught new 
drilling- tricks: today's warfare knows no drills; our Gen- 
eral Staff's very latest Infantry Drill Regulations are al- 


ready as dead as those of Ptolemy Philadelphia . Don't 
argue that old folks can't march the long last mile. Mod- 
ern soldiers are not required to march; camions carry 
them camions quite as comfortable as the cattle-cars 
that haul steers on their way to become beef. And don't 
mention inability to endure any hardship. The 1940 
soldier won't be there to endure; he will be there, pre- 
cisely, to perish. 

Of course, Organized Charity may complain, but that 
will be merely because its officials' jobs are threatened by 
a decrease in the number of Organized Charity's guinea 
pigs. At all events, our influential friends the munitions 
makers can present no valid objection. Although their 
living depends on lives' potential extermination, those 
same gentlemen will not mind if the lives exterminated are 
old lives. 

The Persians of the Sixth Century B.C. sent their 
fettered slaves into battle and found them as satisfactory 
targets for hostile arrows as any other sort of targets. 
Now, aged freemen are as docile as young slaves. In- 
dividual for individual, they do have less blood in their 
veins, but an army of them would provide enough to 
fertilize any Flanders Field, whose poppies would soon 
be just as red as those of November, 1918. 

Haven't old people heads that can be blown off, arms 
and legs that can be shot away, lungs to gas? Aren't old 
people's bowels magnificent gardens for the cultivation of 
dysentery? What's more, however their appetites may 
mutter against it, old people need less food than young 

The 1914-18 war-fashions were inefficient and un- 
economical. Here is a mode proficient and frugal. We are 
a Science-minded people. We may refuse to believe in a 
God who is the same yesterday, today and forever, but we 


prostrate ourselves with facile faith before Science, which 
never says the same thing twice, and about which the one 
safe guess is that it will shamelessly dissent next year from 
the doctrines it promulgates this year. How, then, can we 
resist the obvious argument for the right of the old to die? 

KEEP CLEARLY BEFORE YOU the fact that War's business is 
killing and being killed. Every soldier who leaves only 
his limbs or his wits on the field of battle is a war-error. 
Every soldier who escapes whole is a war-disaster. 

Yet, during our European picnic of twenty-two years 
ago, with some 4,000,000 men in arms, less than 132,000 
lost their lives; only some 200,000 were visibly wounded; 
disasterously few -- probably less than three-quarters of 
those then enlisted were permanently diseased, or still 
suffer from obscure nerve or brain lesions and worth- 
while phobias. 

Under the Kauffman Plan, deaths what the experts 
facetiously call " Complete Casualties" - would reach as 
close to a hundred per cent as is humanly possible, be- 
cause, illness-resistance being the notoriously weak thing 
it is among the old, illness would far more than compen- 
sate for all deficiencies in enemy battle-machines, all bad 
marksmanship in enemy gunners. And, so as to insure an 
immediately expeditious mortality and thus decrease war 
costs, no physicians or surgeons except those experi- 
mentalists hereinafter catalogued would accompany 
the army. 

The inevitable slack in sexual debauches would be 
taken up by the Government's cornering of our domestic 
pornographic literature market, for use by the elderly 
combatants Over There a hardship that must be 
patriotically borne by the civilian population. Should an 
appreciable number of the Expeditionary Force still 


prove too antique to contract venereal diseases in or- 
dinary ways, those wartime opportunities for medical ex- 
perimentation in the field, which physicians consider 
their special war perquisite, would be artificially pro- 
vided. I have no desire to rob war of any of its glamor. 
Instead of the prophylactic stations of 1918, there would 
be stations, operated by superannuated doctors, where 
compulsory inoculation would be administered cu- 
taneously and intravenously. 

Some prejudice lingers to the effect that military ad- 
ministrators are narrow-minded, military regulation ir- 
resilient. Our draft will be conducted by a Secretary of 
War and his subordinates whose records are clean of 
martinet influences or tendencies. These liberal officials 
will make exemptions where exemptions are just, and 
they will exercise an equitable elasticity. 

Young men and women to whom the new eugenic 
laws forbid marriage will be accepted for the army, be- 
cause otherwise they would be producing, as they are now 
producing, illegitimate, unfit children at home. A few 
more junior folk will be permitted to Serve with the 
Colors when medical examination has discovered them 
too delicate to remain off the battlefield, or when psy- 
chiatric tests, conducted by such psychologists as remain 
faithful to Freud, establish the candidates' claims to 
Medean complexes. 

NOT TO TREAT EXHAUSTIVELY the question of the psysi- 
cally unfit, let the instance of the blind serve for example. 
They are an ample number, and an ample expense. In 
June of last year, 2,500 blind persons were receiving 
public aid from the State of New York alone. During the 
fiscal year of 1937-38, the Federal Government spent 
$5,164,100 in aid to the sightless. 


The Kauffman Plan confidently leaves the matter of 
military service by the blind to the dictates of their pa- 
triotism, prompted by discreet propaganda in Braille. 

And there will be no sentimental softness for the popu- 
lations of prisons, insane-asylums, hospitals, homes for 
incurables any institutions the inmates of which are 
charges upon the state or for people who hope to 
evade the draft through ignorance of their ages. 

The state-charges will be automatically entered in 
Class A, the first to go. The age-ignoramuses present a 
more complex problem; latest census figures show that, 
while Massachusetts has merely 3,048 citizens who do not 
know how old they are, California possesses 13,733, 
doubtless all resident at Hollywood. There will be a 
blanket-provision consigning every age-imbecile to sub- 
marine work. 

The once vexing problem of the Conscientious Ob- 
jector will simply not arise. Death being practically cer- 
tain under the Kauffman Plan, and being an offering-up 
of one generation for another, enlistment will meet even 
a Quaker's cautious conditions of sacrifice. 

What is left? Only one glance more at the economic 
and political aspects of the scheme, which are so self- 
evident that even a Cabinet Minister can properly ap- 
preciate them. 

Certainly we shall have to become a totalitiaran coun- 
try; but that is the way republics fight totalitarianism: by 
becoming totalitarian. We started on our course when we 
took our first sniff of this cocaine with "Emergency 
Measures," and made the world safe for Democracy in 
1917. We haven't so far left to go that the journey will 
weary us. 

Clearly recollecting that wars are never won until the 
fighting is finished on their fronts and the peace treaty 


signed behind the winning lines, just take a last look at 
the ledger's credit side. 

Because of their youth and physical fitness, our stay- 
at-homes will produce stock valuable to the state, and 
the state, which nowadays delights in administering so 
many of the personal and intimate activities of its citi- 
zens, will get an inestimable opening to establish human 
stock-farms and regulate breeding. Thus, when the 
armistice comes, the enemy will have only its old civilians 
and surviving crippled soldiers on its hands, while Amer- 
ica will have only its still young Gold Star Sons and Gold 
Star Daughters, all of them parents and therefore eager 
to thrash the enemy in the market places of the subse- 
quent trade conflict. 

Picture to yourself the Victory Parades up Fifth Ave- 
nue, Pennsylvania Avenue, Michigan Avenue, Main 
Street, when, all the military rank-and-file being dead, 
the far more important stay-at-homes march past the re- 
turned General Staff and line-officers. Each husband in 
the procession will be proudly propelling at least one 
perambulator, each wife will bear a banner: 


And there will be no crippled veterans to whom to pay 

And the Kauffman Plan will have smothered the last 
gasps of the pestiferous Townsend Plan. 

And Relief Appropriations can be reduced sixty per- 
cent without a single Congressman losing a single vote. 

And the Federal Theatre Project can be re-subsidized. 

And the budget can be balanced ! 

You THINK THIS is all in jest? Perhaps some of it is. But 
not all, not any of it that matters. But even the part of it 


that does matter is something felt so deeply by a man in 
my commonplace position that he dares not laugh. 

Here is the part that matters: 

Since the latest economic drought descended over this 
unhappy America, our land has been over-supplied 
not only in almshouses and old folks' homes, either - 
with people waiting to die. Twenty years ago, maybe life 
did begin at forty; today these people want to know why 
death cannot, please, occur more frequently soon there- 
after. They see that the Depression-Recession will be 
ended by another war though that war will infallibly 
produce another Depression-Recession and they know 
that their sons and daughters will be the price. Well, all 
that these fathers and mothers ask is some arrangement 
whereby they themselves may be sacrificed instead of 
their children: a chance to die, in these young people's 
stead, from fire or cold, or gas or mud, or shot or filth. 

The old grieve for the young so much longer than the 
young grieve for the old. Why shouldn't youth be spared 
and age, willing, pay the piper? 

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay 
down his life for his friends." 

My wife and I are thinking about our children. Those 
other middle-aged or elderly or old people of the 20,- 
000,000 parents are thinking about their children and 
their children's children. 

We want to go to War! 

Women in International Politics - 
Their Past and Future. 

Can a Woman Be a 


NY WOMAN KNOWS THE ANSWER to this question, if by 
diplomat" one means a person of tact. For the 
good mother uses tact twenty-four hours a day in pre- 
serving peace among the individuals in the home, no two 
with the same dispositions, aspirations or ambitions. The 
young woman who has not yet taken a husband rarely 
fails to use tact in handling prospective suitors. The clever 
woman in professional life must be tactful in combating 
the prejudice of the competitive male. As Lady Blanche, 
Professor of Abstract Science, in that most delightful of 
the Gilbert and Sullivan operas, Princess Ida, phrased it: 

Diplomacy? The wiliest diplomat 

Is absolutely helpless in our hands, 

He wheedles monarchs woman wheedles him ! 

The diplomat, however, requires considerably more 
than mere tact. There are some who believe that the very 
exercise of diplomatic functions by women, if not im- 
possible, is highly undesirable or inexpedient. There are 
a number of reasons. First, the unfavorable attitude gen- 
erally toward women as diplomats would at the very out- 
set raise a handicap for her, as the fulfilment of her mis- 
sion would be almost foredoomed to failure. Second, 



there are a number of posts, expecially the ones usually 
assigned to the neophyte, in which the rigors of climate 
and other peculiarities of locality would preclude her 
appointment. Yet her assignment to more desirable posts 
would tend to weaken the morale of the men, who would 
naturally expect equality of treatment for all members of 
the foreign service. Third, a woman, especially the at- 
tractive and accomplished woman sure to be appointed, 
would be apt sooner or later to succumb to the tempta- 
tion of marriage, which would either entail her resigna- 
tion just when she was becoming useful or would involve 
her in various complications. 

particularly happy one in this regard. Since 1923, six 
women have been appointed foreign service officers. 
Miss Lucille Atcherson of Ohio was appointed in 1922, 
served in the Department of State, in Berne and Panama, 
and resigned in 1927 to marry. Miss Pattie Field of Colo- 
rado was appointed in 1925, served at Amsterdam and 
resigned in 1929 to accept a position with the National 
Broadcasting Corporation. Miss Frances E. Willis of 
Illinois was appointed in 1 927 and has served in Valpa- 
raiso, Santiago, Stockholm and Brussels, where she now is 
second secretary. Miss Margaret Warner of Massachu- 
setts was appointed in 1929, served in the Department 
and in Geneva, and resigned in 1931 on account of ill 
health. Miss Nelle B. Stogedall of Nebraska was ap- 
pointed in 1921, served in the Department and in Beirut, 
and resigned in 1931 to marry. Miss Constance R. Har- 
vey of New York was appointed in 1930 and has served in 
Ottawa, and Basel, where she is now vice-consul. In addi- 
tion to these, Miss Margaret M. Hanna of Michigan, 
after rising to be Chief of the Division of Coordination 


and Review in the Department, was in 1937 appointed 
consul at Geneva. It will be noted that four resigned 
after a comparatively short service and that none were 
assigned to undesirable posts. 

But some might say that the objections raised are not 
valid in the cases of women as chiefs of diplomatic mis- 
sions. The appointment of Mrs. J. Borden Harriman by 
President Roosevelt as Minister to Norway revived this 
question of woman's place in diplomacy. "Revived," I 
say, because five years ago the President did what was 
considered a startling and almost unprecedented thing 
when he appointed Mrs. Ruth Bryan Owen Minister to 
Denmark. Many persons lift their brows at the propriety 
of such an act, questioning whether any woman, no 
matter how talented, possesses the requisites for the 
difficult tasks of the diplomat. And now they also charge 
that such an appointment may lead to unusual conse- 
quences. They cite the marriage of Mrs. Owen to a 
Danish citizen and the citizenship question raised 
thereby, the solution of which might have been quite 
embarrassing, had she not resigned. On the other hand, 
many others point to her excellent record to prove that 
not only can a woman be a diplomat, but in some respects 
may even surpass a man. 

All, however, apparently agree that the question is 
new. And yet it is far from being new except in American 
foreign policy, thus bearing out the remark of Mademoi- 
selle Bertin, milliner to Marie Antoinette, that "There is 
nothing new except what is forgotten." In fact, the ques- 
tion is as old almost as recorded history, which demon- 
strates conclusively that embassages not only have been 
entrusted to women, but sometimes with the greatest 
profit to the State. 

We may pass over the Sabine women under the leader- 


ship of Hersilia, who arranged peace between Romulus 
and Tatius, the Sabine king. Likewise, Veturia, mother of 
Coriolanus and Volumnis, his wife, who went out to 
parley with Coriolanus and the Volsci, then threatening 
the city. No one doubted, says Dionysius of Halicarnas- 
sus, that the office was an appropriate one to women, but 
some feared that the enemy, by disregarding the law of 
nations, might obtain possession of the city without the 
hazards of war. And so, says Livy, a city which its men 
could not defend by arms was defended by the entreaties 
of its women. 

ONE OF THE OUTSTANDING women diplomats of all time, 
however, was a woman whose sanctity overshadows her 
other achievements, St. Catherine Benincasa, born in 
Siena in 1347, the twenty-sixth child of her mother. In 
1376, mainly through the misgovernment of papal offi- 
cials, war broke out between the city-state of Florence 
and the Holy See. The rebellious Florentines had been 
placed under an interdict by the Pope for murdering the 
Papal Nuncio. The Pope had already sent Catherine to 
secure the neutrality of Pisa and Lucca, when the Floren- 
tines implored her to assist them in fresh negotiations 
with the Pope. Accordingly, she was commissioned to 
undertake the difficult task of interviewing Pope Gregory 
XI at Avignon. So persuasive was her presentation of 
their case that the Pope committed the treaty of peace to 
Catherine's decision. As far as Catherine was concerned, 
her mission was a success, but because of brief tenure of 
office in Florence, a new set of men were in power and 
their policies were averse to peace, and so, "the patient 

But so profoundly had she impressed the Pope that, in 
spite of the opposition of the French king and the Sacred 


College, he returned to Rome. In the following year 
Gregory commissioned her to restore the observance of 
the interdict in Florence and to make another attempt to 
obtain peace. The first objective she attained almost at 
once, but the second was delayed by the factious conduct 
of her Florentine associates. Shortly after Gregory XI 
had been succeeded by Urban VI, the arduous negotia- 
tions of Catherine over a period of five months resulted in 
peace being signed at Florence and the interdict lifted. 

Other examples of women diplomats in fifteenth-cen- 
tury Italy were Lucrezia de Medici, wife of Piero the 
Gouty, who in 1467 went to Rome to negotiate a mar- 
riage for her son, Lorenzo the Magnificent, to one of the 
Orsini; and Isabella d'Este, whose husband, Ludovico 
Sforza, Duke of Milan, charged her in 1493 with a secret 
mission to denounce the projects of the French against 

In 1 508 the Archduchess Margaret of Austria, in the 
name of her nephew, Charles V, concluded and signed 
the League of Cambrai with the Cardinal of Rouen. 
This was an agreement to oblige the Republic of Venice 
to restore the places which it held from the Pope, the 
Empire and Louis XII. In 1529 the Archduchess Mar- 
garet and the Duchess Louise of Savoy, mother of Francis 
I, signed at Cambrai the treaty of peace known histor- 
ically as the Traite des Dames, by which the sons of Francis 
I, who were prisoners in Spain, were released, Charles V 
gave up all claim on the Duchy of Burgundy and secured 
to himself Flanders and Artois, and French influence was 
eliminated from Italy. 

James Howell recalls the case of a woman named 
Sardaus, who about 1648 frequently made the trip be- 
tween Brussels and The Hague and was thus known as 
"the go-between (entremetteuse) of peace." 


It will be seen that many noble women have conducted 
negotiations, but they did not enjoy the official character 
of ambassador. "The Marshalless of Guebriant," says 
Abraham de Wiequefort, "was the first Lady . . . that 
has had this Quality annex' d to her own person, and she 
may perhaps be the last." In 1645, during the Thirty 
Years' War, she was named ambassadress of France in 
order that she might appear with greater lustre in con- 
ducting to Warsaw the Princess of Gonzaga, Marie 
Louise of Mantua, the spouse of Wladislas, King of 

Wiequefort's qualified prophecy turned out to be 
erroneous, as France sent and received women as diplo- 
matic representatives on a number of occasions. The 
Countess Flecelles de Bregy replaced her husband as 
ambassador in Poland and Sweden and as such had corre- 
spondence with Louis XIV. Catherine de Neuville- 
Villeroy, Countess of Armagnac, was sent as ambassa- 
dress extraordinary to Savoy-Sardinia in 1663. To the 
same post were sent Frangoise de Lorraine, Duchess of 
Vendome, in 1665, and Anne, Princess of Lillebonne, in 

In 1670, "the beautiful, graceful, and intelligent 
Henrietta, Duchess of Orleans, sister of Charles II, 
sister-in-law of Louis, and a favorite with both," as 
Lingard phrased it, was the chief agent between the 
English and French courts in a negotiation lasting several 
months. Since her father was Charles I of England and 
her mother was Henrietta Maria of France, she enjoyed 
the confidence of both courts and was successful in ne- 
gotiating the secret treaty signed at Dover just ten years 
from the day on which Charles II landed there amidst 
the acclamations of a too confiding people. By this treaty 
Charles bound himself to join his arms to those of Louis of 


France for the purpose of destroy ing the power of the United 
Provinces, and to employ the whole strength of England 
in support of the rights of the House of Bourbon to the 
monarchy of Spain. Louis engaged to pay a large sub- 
sidy, and promised that, if any insurrection should break 
out in England, he would send an army at his own 
charge to support his ally. Though Henrietta was the 
chief agent in negotiating this treaty, her principal, the 
King of England, himself was chiefly answerable for the 
"most disgraceful articles" which it contained. 

Although not a diplomat, Christine de Pisan (1363- 
1431) merits attention here because of her writings in the 
field of diplomacy. She was born in Venice of Bolognese 
parents, but when her father became astrologer and 
physician to Charles V of France, she accompanied him 
and became at heart and by upbringing thoroughly 
French. Married at 15 and a widow at 26, she took to 
writing to support her three children. But her contribu- 
tion to diplomacy is to be found in her Livre de Fails 
cTArmes et de Chevalerie, a virtual code of the law of nations 
of feudal society. 

IN MODERN TIMES, the sex of diplomatic agents is gradually 
becoming an important issue. Most states are disinclined 
to accord agrement when the proposed agent is a woman. 
It is true, however, that recently some states have shown 
a tendency to make no distinction on sex. In 1922 the 
U.S.S.R. sent a woman, Madame Kellontai, first to 
Oslo, then for a short time to Mexico, and for the past 
eight years to Oslo again. The examples of Denmark and 
Norway also, in receiving Mrs. Owen and Mrs. Harri- 
man as envoys of the United States, illustrate this new 
tendency. Loyalist Spain sent a woman, Madame de 
Palencia, to Stockholm. The Scandinavian countries, at 


any rate, no longer have any prejudice against women as 
diplomats. As recently as July, 1939, Chile sent the charm- 
ing Alicia Vieira, the only woman to hold an official po- 
sition in the Chilean diplomatic service, to Washington 
as secretary to the Chilean Embassy. 

So the answer to the question, "Can a woman be a 
diplomat?" is women have been diplomats. As to 
whether women should be diplomats, let Cornelius van 
Bynkershoek, writing in 1737, speak: 

"As in every argument arising from the law of nations, so here, 
reason and custom present different aspects. Surely reason does not 
prohibit women from serving as envoys, for you will find in them the 
qualifications that are demanded by law for envoys. I do not, like 
Plato, consider women the equals of men in all respects, for I know 
that men and women have certain qualities peculiar to each, certain 
common to both. One would not with good success have women bear 
arms. . . . However, on embassies one does not apply force, but 
rather intelligence, diligence, alertness, threats, and flattery, of 
which women are capable, sometimes to a greater degree than men. 

"... Tell me, pray, in what respects men are superior to women 
in the very qualities that are required in an ambassador? Intelli- 
gence and diligence and the other qualities I have just mentioned are 
shared in common by both men and women. . . . You will say that 
it is unseemly for women to serve as ambassadors and thus to mingle 
in the society of men. To be sure, but I ask whether it is more seemly 
for women to rule kingdoms, and, if you permit this, as many nations 
do, why should you not also permit a woman to serve as ambassador 
to a queen? It is hardly a reasonable rule, therefore, to exclude women 
from serving as ambassadors." 

Having demonstrated that considerations of reason do 
not hinder women from serving as diplomats, Bynker- 
shoek gives a few instances (to which those given above 
may be added) to show that neither does custom. While 
admitting that women have not served frequently as 
ambassadors, he concludes that "whether it be or has 
been a more or less frequent practice, the rights of the 


prince do not prohibit it, and so his will is even in this 
matter the supreme law." In other words, it belongs to 
each state to decide for itself whether it shall send or 
receive women as ambassadors. 

If, then, women can be diplomats and in some cases 
have been more effective than men, and if the practice 
inaugurated for the United States by President Roose- 
velt should become widespread, it may be necessary to 
revise Sir Henry Wotton's famous definition of an am- 
bassador: "A good man sent to lie abroad for the good of 
his country." 

The Skeletons in the Closets 
of Our Finest Families 


Some of Our Best People 


K CHARD WHITNEY, Groton graduate and Harvard 
trustee, late President of the Stock Exchange, de- 
fender of the ethics of Wall Street, and confessed em- 
bezzler has passed out of the news and into history, 
there to join a number of other members of fine old 
American families, victims like him of their own grandi- 
osity and of the sycophancy of their contemporaries. To 
what length such sycophancy can go was revealed by the 
lady who at the time of the trial was heard to remark: 
"Isn't Dick Whitney wonderful? The way he's standing 
up and taking his medicine like a man! But, then," she 
concluded, "as I always say, blood will tell!" And his 
warden was allegedly overwhelmed to have such a man 
in his charge. The lady and the warden illuminate the 
careers of Whitney and his prototypes, for it is the snob- 
bishness personified in them that has made it possible for 
Richard Whitney, under a variety of avatars to crop up 
recurrently in our history. 

ROBERT MORRIS of Philadelphia was not born of a fine 
old American family, but since he reached these shores 
weir in advance of the Daughters of the American Revo- 



lution, that doesn't seriously matter. It certainly didn't 
to Robert Morris, who by 1776 was the richest man in the 
colonies, and by that token one of the most important. 
Indeed, it has been said that the cause of American in- 
dependence owed more to him than to any other in- 
dividual, except Washington himself. As Continental 
Superintendent of Finance, he handled brilliantly an 
impossible monetary situation. 

He had made his fortune as an importer and ex- 
porter, and he now drew heavily for the benefit of the 
colonies on the credits he had piled up abroad. At a time 
when the currency had become completely uncurrent, 
and the barbers of Philadelphia were papering their 
shops with worthless notes, he re-floated it, simply by 
adding his own to the Congress's promise to pay. Robert 
Morris, in a word, was a greater power financially than 
the collective thirteen colonies which, thanks partly to 
him, were soon to become the United States of America. 

His sacrifices for his country were discounted by cer- 
tain ungrateful (and unimportant) fellow citizens, who 
insinuated that he found the practice of patriotism even 
more lucrative than the importing and exporting busi- 
ness; but none of the people who counted paid any 
attention to these sour-mouths, and Robert Morris 
emerged into the Federal period with both his fortune 
and his reputation, not merely intact, but greatly aug- 
mented. It was only by his own choice that he missed 
being the greatest Secretary of the Treasury before 
Andrew Mellon; for it was to him that Washington 
originally offered the post, and it was he who suggested 
that it go to Alexander Hamilton instead. From this time 
on he contributed little to the public service. He even 
neglected the importing and exporting business. Robert 
Morris was out to conquer new fields. 


And he did fields and woods and lakes and hills ! 
Envisioning a tremendous influx of European settlers, 
Robert Morris went haywire buying land for specula- 
tion. He and his associates were in a position to offer 
their prospects a wide choice of climate and topography, 
for their holdings totaled 6,000,000 acres, equivalent to 
the combined areas of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, 
scattered within a vast triangle from Maine to Kentucky 
to Georgia. The largest bloc was in western New York. 
More exactly, it was western New York. Mr. Morris was 
also keen about Washington City property, and so im- 
pressed with the plans of Major L'Enfant, the architect 
of the future capital, that he commissioned him to build 
in Philadelphia a mansion worthy of the young republic's 
largest taxpayer. 

That house was designed to be the talk of the nation, 
and so indeed it became. Only, the nation called it 
"Morris's Folly"; for it was three years a-building, and 
the roof still wasn't on when operations came to a stand- 
still. In the beginning its owner had inspected the prog- 
ress of construction between dashes hither and yon, 
buying land or inducing tribes of Indians to move out 
so that droves of Europeans might be induced to move 
in; but by '97 the republic's largest taxpayer had become 
the republic's largest taxdelinquent, and Robert Morris 
could no longer inspect his new home, being in effect a 
prisoner in his old one. Europe was full of people who 
declined to fall in with Mr. Morris's well-meant plans 
for their future, and America of people with ill-meant 
plans of their own for his. In 1797 a man could be jailed 
for debt. Robert Morris, long the most solvent man in 
America, no longer dared show his face even on the 
grounds of his own estate, lest a lurking debtor pounce 
from behind a shrub to tap him with a summons. 


Philadelphia's debtors' prison was on Prune Street. 
For a whole terrible year the thought of Prune Street 
was a sour plum to Robert Morris, puckering his very 
soul. Yet in the end, early in '98, to Prune Street Robert 
Morris went. His wife and daughter were with him there 
daily. Other friends came, too, and at least one stayed 
for dinner. General Washington was in Philadelphia that 
fall. On November 27, his diary records, he dined "in a 
family with Mr. Morris." He had often been Mr. 
Morris's guest, but never before in Prune Street. Early 
in the new century, Congress got around to passing a 
National Bankruptcy Act, and Robert Morris went free. 
Something had been salvaged from the wreck for Madam 
Morris, and on her meagre income "the Financier of the 
American Revolution" subsisted for the brief remainder 
of his drooping days. 

Robert Morris was never indicted for any crime, and 
in modern eyes imprisonment for debt connotes misfor- 
tune rather than infamy. Still, there still lingers about 
his speculations a faint reek of "distempered enterprise," 
to use a Victorian term, more bluntly, of finance 
so high as to be noisome. There was nothing intrinsically 
wrong with his idea of filling our great empty spaces at 
a profit to Mr. Morris, but he seems to have been fool- 
ishly sanguine in his estimate of the speed at which it 
could be done. 

A protracted depression, beginning in 1792, and 
severely felt both here and abroad, ruined whatever 
chances he ever had of unloading; but Robert Morris 
went right on buying land long after he was forced to 
resort to ultra-ingenious devices to pay for it. Sixty years 
later, the courts were still straightening out the tangle 
of overlapping claims and equities arising from his 
ebullient schemes for getting richer quick, and from his 


jaunty methods of financing them. For Mr. Morris, the 
harassed land-jobber, continued to make drafts and give 
notes with the same aplomb as Mr. Morris, the Super- 
intendent of Finance. Blue-skying to keep General 
Washington's troops from mutiny, and blue-skying to 
keep Mr. Robert Morris out of Prune Street are not, one 
cannot help feeling, quite the same thing. 

Certain it is that many of his victims were unwilling to 
let him off for a fool, and some wrote to call him a knave. 
Mr. Morris was a gentleman. He never permitted a letter 
to go unanswered. ("Isn't Mr. Morris wonderful?" some 
long-dead lady doubtless said. "He's such a scrupulous 
correspondent!") One of his replies casts an interesting 
light. He was sorry, he said in effect, that anyone should 
have come to grief through confidence in him, but, 
overwhelmed as he was with chagrin at having involved 
members of his own set, he was scarcely free to do any 
serious regretting in behalf of total strangers. Yes, Mr. 
Morris was a gentleman; and not without a sense of 
caste solidarity; yet, sad to relate, blood didn't alto- 
gether tell: far from "taking full responsibility for what 
happened," he insisted it was entirely due to his partner's 
perfidy that he had engulfed so many people's fortunes 
and his own good name. 

NICHOLAS BIDDLE, likewise of Philadelphia, was an even 
more gifted man, one of the most gifted this country has 
produced. The son of a prominent banker, he was born 
in 1786 with everything a man needs to ensure a life 
of distinction and the admiration of posterity, oppor- 
tunity, brains, talent, ambition, good looks, charm, 
everything except humility. Although he finished first 
in his class at Princeton at fifteen, Nicholas Biddle was 
no shooting star of precocity, due to be extinguished at 


contact with the world of affairs. Instead, he grew and 
grew in luminosity until he shone, in the eyes of his 
dazzled contemporaries, like Lucifer, Son of the Morn- 
ing. Like Lucifer, too, he fell. He was known as "Old 
Nick" thereafter. 

Young Nick did not find himself quickly. There were 
too many fields that attracted him, and he excelled in 
them all. He had a go at diplomacy first. When he re- 
turned to Philadelphia, he had assimilated the best that 
Europe had to offer a youth who was at once a scholar 
and a man of the world, but he was still groping for a 
career. He studied law and took up gentleman-farming, 
and at an age when most young men were sowing their 
wild oats, Nicholas Biddle was culling and exhibiting the 
flowers of poesy. He edited the notes of the famous Lewis 
and Clark expedition to Oregon, and it was with his pen 
too that he opened the door at last to his real vocation, 
when he published a most effective pamphlet in favor of 
reviving the Bank of the United States, and was eventu- 
ally rewarded by appointment as one of the Govern- 
ment's directors. Five years later, aged 37, Nicholas 
Biddle was chosen the Bank's president, and before an- 
other five had rolled around, the Bank had become 
synonymous with Nicholas Biddle. 

He did a magnificent job. Even historians sympathetic 
with Jackson in the controversy over renewal of the 
Bank's charter concede that Biddle's conduct of the bank 
was masterly, and his designation by the London Times as 
"the world's most eminent financier," merited. It was he 
who gave a nation badly in need of it a uniform currency 
which circulated at par in all sections of the country. 

It was partly because he was such a sound banker 
that Nicholas Biddle raised up enemies. The new states 
in the West and South didn't want sound banking; they 


wanted easy credit and plenty of it. Their exuberant 
promoters complained that the money-power of the East, 
incarnated in Mr. Biddle, was strangling them, and they 
charged him with economic dictatorship. When the fight 
with Jackson waxed hot, Nicholas Biddle, sitting in his 
elegant office in the Bank's Greek temple on Chestnut 
Street (which of course he had helped design), engineered 
a recession that was felt with particular force in the 
Jackson states. He had calculated that the only way to 
get the charter renewed was to beat the Bank's enemies 
to their knees. 

His calculation all but worked. The pressure on Capitol 
and White House to stop persecuting Mr. Biddle was 
terrific. Memorials urging recharter, not without their 
quota of phony names, poured into Washington. 
Congress gave in. Mr. Biddle had appraised correctly 
the stamina of his fellow citizens and of their representa- 
tives on the Hill, but he had underestimated the stoutness 
that was Old Hickory. The Bank of the United States 
was not rechartered. 

Nevertheless, 1836, the year it expired, found Mr. Bid- 
die still ensconced in the Greek temple on Chestnut 
Street, as president of a new institution, the U. S. Bank 
of Pennsylvania, capitalized in the then colossal sum of 
$35,000,000. The next year, 1837, brought the worst 
panic the country had yet known. Mr. Biddle's admirers 
said it was only what was to have been expected from the 
insane policy of those idiots in Washington; but while 
they had predicted, they had not prepared for the crash, 
and there was wailing and gnashing of teeth in the money- 
marts of the land. Only Nicholas Biddle himself preserved 
his accustomed poise. In 1838, the oracle spoke, pro- 
claiming that the worst was over. In 1839 he startled the 
world by resigning as President of the U. S. Bank of 


Pennsylvania. On reflection everybody decided it was 
the most logical thing in the world. Mr. Biddle had 
striven long and well for the preservation of everything 
that rich Americans held dear; he had piloted his new 
bank safely past the reefs thrown up by his enemies' 
criminal folly; what more natural than that he should 
now choose to devote himself to the cultivation of his 
tastes and of his acres, both of which were exceedingly 

So Nicholas Biddle, accompanied by eulogies of a ful- 
someness normally reserved for last sad rites, went into 
retirement at his famous show-place, Andalusia. Though 
relieved of the tedium of business, he continued to lead an 
extremely full life, what with his correspondence, his 
philanthropies, his patronage of arts and letters, and his 
gentleman-farming. Grapes from Andalusia were de- 
manded by name in the Philadelphia markets. They still 
fetched a good price there when the unemployed had 
taken to selling apples for next to nothing on the streets 
of New York. 

For the oracle had misspoken in 1838. What "the 
world's most eminent financier" had pronounced to be 
the initial stage of economic recovery turned out to be the 
take-off for a secondary and more devastating decline, 
beginning in '39. In 1841, Mr. Biddle, the gentleman 
farmer, was induced to appear once more as Mr. Biddle, 
the banker. The news of his coming had spread, and an 
excited crowd overflowed the courtroom when Nicholas 
Biddle stood to answer to the indictment charging him 
with divers acts of malfeasance committed while president 
of the late U. S. Bank of Pennsylvania. The Greek temple 
in Chestnut Street still stood, but the ruins of the Acrop- 
olis are in a state of perfect preservation compared with 
the assets of the corporation it had housed. Gone were its 


35 millions of capital, gone its 40 millions of deposits! 
Nicholas Biddle, the exponent of sound banking, had 
been a party to gutting the wealthiest bank in the hemi- 
sphere by every device known to wildcatting: loans 
without security to insiders, falsified records, misappro- 
priation of funds, what-have-you. 

Even today it seems scarcely credible. Here was a 
man of genuine distinction, richly endowed with the 
things of the spirit as well as with worldly goods. Lobby- 
ing and such minor peccadilloes apart, he had conspicu- 
ously practised rectitude as well as preached it, and now 
he stood in the felon's dock! Not even Nicholas Biddle 
could have brought Nicholas Biddle to such a pass with- 
out the complicity of-- the lady and the warden. It was 
they who fed his arrogance and abetted his greed, till he 
was convinced nothing he did could possibly be wrong, 
for otherwise, he, Nicholas Biddle, wouldn't be doing it. 

Having for vanity's sake grossly overcapitalized his new 
bank, he was driven by sheer pressure of idle funds to 
make unwise loans. Then he went haywire buying cotton 
for speculation just as world- wide depression was closing 
the British mills. The great Nicholas Biddle was hopelessly 
involved, but the world mustn't know. And the world 
didn't, until the defrauded depositors of Mr. Biddle's 
bank stormed the doors of that Philadelphia courtroom. 

To form an even approximate idea of the effect of Mr. 
Biddle's indictment on all of our best people in 1841, re- 
quires a mighty effort of imagination. They felt somewhat 
as the members of the Liberty League might, should they 
suddenly learn that the honor guest at their famous din- 
ner, the Hon. Alfred E. Smith, having been a confirmed 
cannibal for years, had partaken on that occasion of a 
specially prepared^dish of index fingers en brochette, 
while they themselves were toying with the riz de veau au 


vin blanc. And Mr. Biddle didn't even give them the con- 
solation of remarking that "blood will tell." He did not 
stand up and take his medicine like a man. He didn't 
even let his nose be held while it was being poured down 
his throat. He managed to get the indictment against 
him dismissed on a technicality, to the outrage of the man 
in the street. It was a bit thick even for the lady in the 
barouche. Thenceforth all Philadelphia cut dead the 
man for whose greeting all Philadelphia had ogled. He 
died three years after his ruin. In a retreat? Oh, no! at 
his famous show-place, Andalusia. 

MEASURED IN THE SCALE of historical importance, Robert 
Schuyler is small fry compared with Nicholas Biddle, but 
his blood was even bluer. Biddle's junior by only a dozen 
or so years, six generations already separated him from 
the Holland-born ancestor who brought this fine old 
American name to the Hudson valley. The Revolution- 
ary general, Philip Schuyler, was his grandfather. Natu- 
rally, when he finished Harvard, there was no lack of 
valuable connections to further him in his chosen career, 
and in due time both Robert Schuyler and his younger 
brother, George Lee, were figuring prominently as 
"railway kings" in the business world of New York. 

It was their vision and enterprise that had created the 
New York & New Haven, the New York & Harlem, and 
numerous lesser lines. The two brothers used to collect 
railroad presidencies very much as a Bobby Jones would 
golf trophies, and for the same reason: they were experts 
- as backers, brokers, builders, and operators of the 
roads. The other large stockholders and directors of the 
new companies were either their close friends or their 
distant relatives, men like James Roosevelt, Gouverneur 
Morris, Amos Eno, and Morris Ketchum. When such a 


board assembled to choose a president, the only question 
was whether the responsibility should be placed on Rob- 
ert Schuyler or on George. Intertwined as were their busi- 
ness careers, the personal lives of the two brothers had 
diverged. The younger was given to marrying grand- 
daughters of Alexander Hamilton (both his wives were), 
while the older had been celibate for so many decades 
that by 1854 even the most designing of mamas had con- 
cluded that, though infinitely eligible as a son-in-law, he 
was definitely unavailable. 

In the year aforementioned they were having a little 
depression. Already in '53, nobody was quite sure why, 
things had begun to slow down. By summer, '54, every- 
body was very sure things weren't picking up. Washing- 
ton, where the Democrats were in office, was of course 
largely to blame. The New York Tribune warned that ex- 
penditures for the fiscal year "would verge nearer fifty 
than forty millions of dollars," and inquired plaintively if 
we were "never to have an end of this system of beggaring 
the Treasury?" 

The Smiths and the Joneses were feeling the pinch of 
hard times, and "involuntary idlers," as the Tribune 
called the unemployed, were increasing in numbers and 
desperation. Our best people, the Schuylers, Roosevelts, 
et al. didn't like the looks of things either. There had just 
been a very unsavory failure of a large coal-mining com- 
pany, looted by its president a fellow with a queer 
foreign-sounding name whom people should have known 
better than to trust in the first place. The Stock Exchange 
list was off badly. 

New York & New Haven was off worse than that. Mr. 
Morris Ketchum, the banker, was worried, and dropped 
in for a chat at the company's office with the president, 
Robert Schuyler. Not finding him in, Mr. Ketchum 


put a few perfunctory questions to the clerk in charge. 
The answers were not perfunctory; they were hair-raising. 
They led, in fact, to the discovery that, thanks to Mr. 
Schuyler's husbandry, a share and two-thirds of New 
Haven stock now grew where but one had grown before. 
The new shares were in the hands of holders in good faith. 
The proceeds of their sale had at one time been in the 
hands of Mr. Robert Schuyler, but by now had followed 
that gentleman's original fortune down the ties. Robert 
Schuyler had gone haywire speculating on his pet small 
railroads. To keep afloat he dumped his holdings of New 
Haven. When these ran out, he manufactured more. 
Since the transfer books were in his custody, and stock cer- 
tificates required no other signature than his, this was easy. 

Easy, but hardly wise. As a member of the class of 
Harvard, 1817, Mr. Schuyler had not had the benefit of 
instruction in economics. Still, it looks as if he might 
have realized that oversupplying the market with New 
Haven securities was an unlikely way of stimulating 
demand for less highly regarded carriers; but downtown 
New York was too staggered by his weakness of character 
to take immediate note of his weakness of intellect. 
Amid the general to-do, Mr. George Schuyler seems to 
have retained his phlegm. Having been absolved by his 
senior of all knowledge of the latter 's defalcations, he 
proceeded to announce the failure of R. & G. L. Schuy- 
ler; to remark that he scarcely expected to see his 
brother again; and to go on with his yachting. As 
part owner of the original America, he was one of the 
donors of the still famous cup. 

Meanwhile, the drawing-rooms uptown were fairly 
a-twitter, for the ladies had learned that Robert Schuy- 
ler, the elusive bachelor, had been for upwards of a 
quarter-century a married man and father of a family. 


Although the Spicer household was in the same block on 
23rd Street as Mr. Schuyler's apartment, even the eldest 
Spicer girl had not been told until the night of her 
marriage that she was the great-granddaughter of the 
famous General Schuyler. According to the New York 
Post, young Robert, realizing that his family would 
never sanction his marriage to the daughter of a poor 
and obscure family, had made concealment a condition 
of his proposal. 

This explanation provoked a tearfully indignant letter 
from the lady in question. Her husband's name was no 
longer too good for her to bear, and it was over the sig- 
nature, "Mrs. Robert Schuyler," that she denied the 
Post's story, without, however, offering any more 
honorable version of her unusual situation. Mincing her 
words in true Victorian fashion, she declared that "every 
sensitive heart will at once perceive the truth," and 
switched to an attack on the editor for stooping "to tear 
aside the sacred veils of domestic privacy." As for her 
husband, she said, she would not "undertake to defend 
one too ill to defend himself" (no mean non-sequitur in 
1854 or any other year), but would "commit to a just 
God the vindication of his honor." 

The Post, not the lady, had the last word. It had 
merely, it retorted, printed the most charitable of several 
theories of the marriage that were going the rounds, and 
it implied that Mrs. Schuyler's faith in the Deity was well 
in excess of the orthodox quota. 

And where all this time was Mr. Robert Schuyler? 
Nobody seemed to know. He was variously reported to 
be dying in 23rd Street (of his wife's broken heart, no 
doubt) and seen alive and hopping in vicinities as remote 
from 23rd Street as Utica and Montreal. The authorities 
showed little interest in his whereabouts. High Finance 


was still in its frontier period, and society had not yet 
put up its fences against marauders disguised as corpora- 
tion presidents. There had been laws against sneak- 
thievery and pickpocketing since time immemorial, but 
the more modern varieties of grand larceny were in- 
adequately provided for. While, then, it was felt that Mr. 
Schuyler's rather informal method of increasing his com- 
pany's capitalization constituted an excessively rough- 
and-ready form of fund-raising, nobody was quite sure 
under what statute he could be indicted for it. There 
were laws against forgery, to be sure, but, although 
perfectly fraudulent in more substantial respects, the 
famous certificates were perfectly genuine in form and 
signature, so where did forgery come in? 

It was a fascinating legal question, but Mr. Schuyler's 
blood told him not to hang around pending its determina- 
tion. Various other little transactions of the peculation 
nature, running all told into six figures, were still to come 
to light, and these were undoubtedly indictable. Now, 
like Mr. Biddle, Mr. Schuyler had a small boy's aversion 
to medicine. Unlike him, he mistrusted his ability to 
stand his ground and still get out of taking it. Mr. 
Schuyler skipped, or as we say when our best people 
do it absconded. Mr. Morris, Mr. Biddle, Mr. 
Schuyler! How well the nursery rhyme, only slightly 
paraphrased, sums them up: 

This little pig went to prison; 

This little pig stayed at home; 

And this little pig said nothing 

Didn't even give his right name - 

All the way to Europe ! 

SINCE 1854, THE SAME STORY HAS told itself over and 
over again. There was Edward Ketchum in 1865, 


son of our old friend, Morris Ketchum, who caught 
Robert Schuyler. Young Edward should have been a 
writer, and in a way he was. He anticipated Stevenson's 
advice to literary aspirants to begin by imitating the 
best models. The model he chose was the official of the 
U. S. Government whose name appeared on its gold 
certificates. When his authorship was about to become 
known, young Mr. Ketchum, feeling the seclusion neces- 
sary for literary pursuits threatened at home, went to live 
in a furnished room where he was known by a pen name. 
More considerate than many lodgers of a landlady's 
natural curiosity, he left lying about three letters, pur- 
porting to be from a girl cousin, a brother, and a father in 
Cincinnati, the artful diversification of whose style and 
contents as well as script, of course impressed even 
the police with his exceptional talent. 

The first letter was ever so arch; the second, manly and 
terse; in the third, a mid- Victorian Polonius, after prais- 
ing his boy's prudence in matters of finance, admonished 
him to win the friendship of the better sort of people in 
the city of his adoption, and never, never to do aught 
that might cost him their esteem. Yes, young Edward 
Ketchum could certainly write! Too bad he didn't 
develop his gift during his three years and eight months 
(reduced from four for good behavior) at Ossining! He 
had it in him, one feels after reading that fragment of an 
epistolary cycle, to become the American Samuel 

After him came the boys of '84, including the son of 
still another of Robert Schuyler' s colleagues on the New 
Haven board, Mr. Amos R. Eno. John C. Eno was an 
exceptionally engaging youth. Born with a silver spoon in 
his mouth, he was voted by his classmates of Yale, '69, 
the wooden spoon denoting popularity. What he stole 


was not gold spoons, exactly, but securities, in the amount 
of $3,000,000, up for collateral in the bank of which his 
father had had him elected president at a too tender age. 
The Enos were a very old American family of French 
origin, but their scion suddenly decided he didn't like 
it over here, and was well on his way back where his fore- 
fathers came from when taken off a boat at Quebec. The 
charm that had been so effective on the campus at New 
Haven proved just as potent on the banks of the St. 
Lawrence. The adoring Canadians refused to part with 
him even though urged to do so by the American Secre- 
tary of State. 

Mr. Eno's exploits were almost eclipsed by those of his 
contemporary, Mr. Ferdinand Ward. This gentleman 
marks a deviation from the norm, being not to the manor 
born, but to the manse. The Rev. Ferdinand DeWilton 
Ward (Norman blood, no less!) used to take issue with 
Pope for writing that "an honest man is the noblest work 
of God," insisting that good as honesty is, there is some- 
thing better still: to wit, Christian piety. To be an honest 
man was not the deepest aspiration of the Rev. F. DeW. 
Ward's namesake, either. Known as "the young Napo- 
leon of Finance," Ferdinand Ward looked something 
like Edwin Booth and operated exactly like Charles 
Ponzi, except that he victimized only the rich. Ulysses S. 
Grant was among those spattered when the dirt flew; 
but the hero of the Union behaved so honorably when his 
eyes were finally opened to his partner's swindling, that 
he came off with the loss of his fortune and the indignity 
of being apostrophized by the Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, 
as "Dear, simple old fellow!" 

Nobody so apostrophized Mr. James D. Fish of the 
Stonington Fishes, and he couldn't understand why. He 
was old too, and according to him, simple. Everybody, 


judge and jury included, conceded his age, but mis- 
doubted his simplicity. Besides being a highly thought-of 
bank president, Mr. Fish had also been a great first- 
nighter. It was said of him that "he loved a leg-show and 
equally delighted in a well-acted Shakespearean trag- 
edy." If Ferdinand Ward hadn't looked so much like 
Edwin Booth . . . ! Mr. Fish was a true gentleman of 
the old school, and a stickler for the amenities. When he 
rejoined his young associate at Ludlow Street Jail, he felt 
it incumbent on Mr. Ward, as the older resident, to pay 
the first call on him, the new arrival. Both gentlemen, 
though sincerely reluctant to impose on their fellow 
citizens' hospitality, spent a number of years as non- 
paying guests of the people. 

The American Bankers' Association is an even more 
imposing aggregation than the New York Stock Ex- 
change. Its official lists might lead one to believe that, 
though fully officered in all other years from 1875 to 
date, it had lacked a Chairman of the Executive Council 
in 1901-2 and a First Vice-President in 1902-3, and had 
even drifted captainless without a President in 1903-4. 
Not at all. Each of these posts of honor had been filled, 
in customary rotation, by Mr. Frank G. Bigelow of 
Milwaukee. As President of the A. B. A., he was spokes- 
man for $11,000,000,000, and his remarks addressed to 
Washington were much echoed elsewhere. 

Mr. Bigelow was a reader, rather than a writer. His 
opening address to the A. B. A. convention over which 
he presided closed with a rather solemn quotation from 
a favorite author: "To be honest, to be kind; to earn a 
little and to spend a little less; to keep a few friends, and 
these without capitulation; above all, on the same grim 
conditions to keep friends with himself here is a task 
for all that a man hath." 


It was, alas! a task for more than Mr. Bigelow had. 
The convention was in the autumn of 1904. In the 
spring of 1905, he confided to the directors of his bank 
that, while he had earned a good deal, he had spent a 
good deal more, speculating in wheat so much more 
that $1,400,000 of the bank's money had not been 
enough to make up the difference. He had kept a few 
friends, who were disposed to be kind even though he 
hadn't been honest. In a secret session lasting thirty-six 
hours, the directors considered making good the bank's 
losses and giving the president a well-earned rest abroad, 
but in the end decided to give the truth to the news- 
papers and Mr. Bigelow to the sheriff. His embezzlement 
of trust funds came out only later. 

THE GENERATIONS come and go, but within a given 
society, the patterns of human nature remain unalterable. 
There have always been Richard Whitneys, and there 
always will be as long as there are ladies whose creed it 
is that all the fruit of really lofty family trees is ipso facto 
of an exquisite moral beauty, and wardens for whom it is 
axiomatic that a millionaire can never be wrong. In the 
future as in the past, the nation will gasp anew every few 
years as some man, well-born, long entrenched in the 
security of the top income brackets, in the esteem of his 
associates and the envy of the crowd, suddenly stands 
forth an exposed thief, and dramatically passes from the 
exclusiveness of the smartest clubs to the promiscuity of 
prison. That much is certain. What none can foretell is 
when and where and under what alias Richard Whitney 
will next appear; but there is at least a likelihood that 
even now some great future reputation is being lost on 
the playing-fields of Groton. 

From a Luxury, the Battleship 
Has Become a Necessity 

The Battleship 

Comes Back 


SOME RESEARCH, some thinking and a good deal of in- 
formation not available in 1922 showed that the 
battleship was not as much of a dodo as she looked to the 
perpetrators of the Washington treaties. They had known 
that the blockade was a powerful influence in determin- 
ing the result of the World War; but it was only after the 
conference, on information from Germany, that the 
blockade was perceived as the factor of overmastering im- 
portance. Battleships thus won the war. Merely by 
swinging at anchor in Scapa Flow and looking grim they 
won it, while Germany starved for rubber, copper and 
flour. They did not have to fight. The investment in all 
those non-battling battleships was huge, but it was only 
an insignificant fraction of the money spent on the land 
armies that had struggled to futile deadlock from the 
North Sea to the Aegean. 

When the battleship did fight she was by no means as 
vulnerable as had been supposed. Investigation showed 
that the three British ships of the line blown up at Jutland 
had all suffered the same semi-accidental casualty. A 
shell penetrated a turret and, exploding inside, set off a 
charge of powder waiting to be loaded; the flash ran 
down the ammunition hoist to a magazine and up went 



the ship. The means of preventing such explosions were 
known to the Germans. In the same battle of Jutland, 
their Seydlitz had three turrets similarly penetrated, their 
Derfflinger two, and their Ltitzow at least one, without any 
magazine explosions. When the German ships were sur- 
rendered at the close of the war, the rest of the world had 
been given opportunity to study and copy German safety 
methods. It was in the last degree unlikely that flash 
would ever again destroy a big ship. 

Moreover, all the penetrations, both on the English 
and the German sides, had occurred aboard battle- 
cruisers that is, battleships in which armor had been 
sacrificed to speed. A big shell hit a turret on one of the 
true battleships from relatively short range; nothing hap- 
pened but some slight disturbance among the electrical 
connections of the turret. 

Detailed study showed, indeed, that really heavy armor 
in every case proved far more valuable than any proving- 
ground tests indicated it would, perhaps because shells 
seldom fell on the rapidly moving ships from the angles 
that would make penetration easy. And when shells did 
get through armor, the first-class battleships showed a 
power of resistance far beyond the most sanguine expecta- 
tion. "Eggshells pounding each other with hammers," 
Winston Churchill had called battleships before the war; 
from the data of Tsushima in the Russo-Japanese war, it 
had been supposed that twelve to fifteen penetrations by 
heavy shell would reduce any battleship to sinking condi- 
tion, and a single torpedo would finish her. But at Jut- 
land British Marlborough was caught squarely in the most 
dangerous spot by a torpedo; never had to leave her place 
in the fast-moving line of battle or missed firing a single 
salvo. British War spite, German Derfflinger were hit by 
nearly twenty heavy shells apiece and went right on fight- 



ing. German Seydlitz was shot through by more than 

twenty heavy shells plus at least two torpedoes, but swam 
back to port in safety. 

Nor was this all. During the night after the battle, as 
the German warships ploughed lightless for home, the 
battleships separated from their supposedly indispensable 
destroyers, with many ships seriously wounded during the 
afternoon's fighting, they encountered British torpedo 
flotillas. The conditions were supposedly ideal for the 
latter night, hurry, damaged ships, no protective 
screen. What happened? The Germans lost one old pre- 
dreadnaught, one light cruiser. Not a battleship was 
touched, but the destroyers that attacked them suffered 
heavily. "The outstanding fact of Jutland was the ability 
of battleships to protect themselves from torpedo attack 
under all circumstances," said one of the best analysts. 

It also appeared that there was a large amount of 
phony about the menace from the air. As a kind of cur- 
tain-raiser to the Washington conference, the surrendered 
German battleship Ostfriesland had been taken down to 
the Virginia Capes and sunk by bombs from U. S. army 
airplanes. Time brought a footnote to this performance; 
already before the bombing Ostfriesland was leaking so 
badly as to have many tons of water on board, and the 
army aviators had swooped near enough almost to be 
able to spit on her decks, which they never could do in 
war. Besides, she was an old ship; when, after the confer- 
ence, the aviators were given their chance at a new one, 
the unfinished battleship Washington, they banged away 
at her for several days without being able to sink her at 
all. The battle-fleet had to be called in to finish the job 
with big guns; and even they had to close in to ranges 
shorter than any in World War experience. 

In the years after Washington the airplane had de- 


veloped indeed, but at nowhere near the speed predicted 
by its admirers. By the time the first pocket battleship was 
launched it was clear that the era of startling inventions 
was over; further development would come along the 
slow path of perfecting details. It was anti-aircraft gun- 
nery that was improving along a curve that threatened to 
become a vertical, as the war in Spain was soon to 

Experiment and analysis of battle results thus alike 
showed that the battleship was a much tougher citizen 
than she had been imagined to be. Instead of being under 
a law of diminishing return as to size, her powers of re- 
sistance increased in geometrical proportion while the 
size only climbed by arithmetic. 

Yet the charge of frailty was the most serious of all 
those brought against the battleship the only one that 
really carried weight. For of all warships, the battleship 
yielded the greatest fighting power per dollar, both of 
original cost and maintenance charges. Approximately 
five light cruisers could be bought for the price of a single 
ship of the line; but it would take twice as many men, 
four times as much fuel to run the five cruisers, and they 
would not last an hour against a battleship in a fight. 
Eleven or twelve destroyers could be had for the same 
money; they would take 2,400 men to the battleship's 
1,500, their operating cost would be at least twice as 
heavy, and their delicate mechanisms would run down 
ten years before the big ship wore out. 

In short, the battleship had again become a good in- 
vestment by 1932. 

WHEN GERMANY ANNOUNCED the laying down of a second 
Deutschland, the obvious French reply, then, was to build 
battleships. With reference to her position under the 


Treaties France could easily do this. One of the dread- 
naughts she had been entitled to retain under the Wash- 
ington agreements had been lost by shipwreck. It was al- 
lowable for her to replace this ship and also three old pre- 
dreadnaughts, now well past the age limit. This gave the 
French a reserve of something like 70,000 treaty tons in 
the battleship class, enough to permit her to build two 
first-class ships, each at the treaty tonnage limit of 

But for two reasons, one tactical, the other political, 
France was extremely loath to do this. Her naval men had 
to think not only in terms of Germany, but also in terms 
of Italy. A Franco- Italian agreement was in process of 
negotiation, under which both parties would build no 
capital ship of a tonnage above 25,000 or perhaps 
23,333. Whether France already had such an agreement 
with England or not is still something of a moot point. 
It has been supposed that she had. The evidence in favor 
of the supposition is supplied by (1) the secret Franco- 
British naval treaty stolen or bought by one of the Hearst 
employees, which dealt with other matters, but indi- 
cated extremely close cooperation between the two 
navies; (2) the fact that when England and Germany 
signed a bilateral naval treaty in 1935, it bound the latter 
country to small battleships; (3) the fact that France acted 
as a unit with England in trying to force the small battle- 
ship down the neck of the United States in 1927, in 1930, 
1932 and finally in 1936. 

As in the case of cruisers, this question of unit size was 
the basis of serious Anglo-American disagreement. 
Throughout the conference period England persistently 
sought to make the standard battleship as small as possi- 
ble, while keeping the total tonnage for the class as high 
as possible. Her bases circle the world. If battleships 


could be restricted to a small size, hers would always be 
best; for alone among nations, she could afford to cut 
down on the fuel capacity of ships to obtain other quali- 

(The case is slightly different from that with vessels in 
the cruiser class, which must always be prepared to keep 
the sea for long periods, unless intended for service in such 
special areas as the Mediterranean or the Baltic.) 

Small battleships also meant greater flexibility for the 
British navy. With many ships of a limited size it could 
work up in any given locality a concentration equal to 
the task in hand without wasting power. Finally, small 
battleships meant that in a building race England could 
outdo any rival. Her building yards are the most numer- 
ous in the world. An artificial limit on battleship sizes 
would both keep competition in numbers within the 
limits of her financial capacity, and insure that no nation 
could seize from her the primacy of the seas, as the United 
States had threatened to do in 1919-1922, by building a 
few ships of such gigantic mould as heavily to overmatch 
English vessels. 

As long ago as 1921 British naval men had worked out 
25,000 tons as the optimum size, though they felt that if 
necessary they could get all they wanted out of a 23,333- 
ton warship. Japan, with her chain of bases surrounding 
the Yellow Sea and stretching down the China coast 
through Formosa, and out into the Pacific among the 
mandated islands, wanted the same size in battleships for 
the same reason. 

But for exactly the converse propositions, the small 
battleship was unacceptable to the United States. No 
imaginable 25,000-tonner could make the long haul 
from Hawaii to Manila and off the latter port fight on 
equal terms against a ship that need carry fuel for only a 


third of such a run. But a 35,000-ton ship would be under 
no such disadvantage as against an enemy 35,000-tonner; 
for it would take hardly any more fuel to send her across 
the Pacific than her smaller sister. U.S.S. Arkansas, for 
example, required 5,000 tons of oil to drive her 26,000 
tons for 8,000 miles; U.S.S. Colorado (admittedly a later 
ship) needs only 4,000 tons of fuel to drive 30,000 tons of 
ship for 10,000 miles. 

The American navy had been forced to yield point 
after point in the cruiser controversy, making some gains 
at every concession; that is, getting some ships of the size 
it wanted. But as the World Disarmament Conference of 
the League of Nations of 1932 approached, the Americans 
were still immovable on the battleship question. Yet on 
this point England also wished no compromise. When 
battleship building began again in 1936, she wished to 
build small ships; could not bear to see another nation in 
possession of larger ones. Therefore the English prepared 
to mobilize against American obstinacy the force of 
world public opinion, to which the American navy is 
peculiarly sensitive through Congress and a considerable 
pacifist press. 

That is, if no other nation built ships larger than 25,000 
tons (or 23,333) it would be extremely difficult for the 
United States to go beyond this limit. At the time when it 
became necessary for France to build against the Deutsch- 
lands, she was striving to reach agreement with Italy on a 
number of points, of which naval building was only one. 
British support was a necessity to her. If these anti- 
Deutschlands were 35,000-tonners English support would 
not be forthcoming. 

On the other hand, if France built in the smaller size 
and the agreement with Italy should fall through, Italy 
would be at liberty to build big battleships, thoroughly 


outclassing the French vessels. It was not the first time 
that the French navy had been placed in a cruel dilemma 
through being forced to adjust its needs to those of the 
army and diplomatic corps. 

ON THE HEELS of the Franco-Prussian war, President 
Thiers declared "The navy is an arm of luxury for France. 
What use is a battle-fleet against the Germans?" In fact, a 
battle fleet of great strength had proved no use whatever 
in the disastrous conflict then just ended; and in response 
to this failure a new system of naval thought grew up in 
France. Its leaders were called the Jeune Ecole \ their pur- 
pose was expressed in the famous Lamy report of 1876 - 
"to renounce war made by fleets of armored vessels, so 
expensive, of such uncertain value" in favor of the fast 
raiding cruiser supported along home coasts by the 
torpedo and the mine. 

The debate between the Jeune Ecole and its critics 
spread to the public and convulsed France for twenty 
years, or until the Spanish-American War. That conflict 
was, in a sense, a test of Jeune Ecole doctrine; for the Span- 
ish navy had accepted the French theory; its ships had 
been built and its men trained under Gallic supervision. 
The Spaniards went down to crushing defeat before the 
big-gun-on-big-ship theories of Mahan, and the Russo- 
Japanese war, in which Jeune Ecole opinion was again 
heavily engaged on the losing side, confirmed the verdict. 

Yet her navy remained for France something of an 
arm of luxury, the least indispensable link in her chain of 
national defense, the department which suffered first in 
moments of financial stringency. Jeune Ecole doctrine had 
at least the merit of outlining a possible method of opera- 
tions for a cheap fleet. Above all it was suited to the 
ardent, individualistic French temperament; for it em- 


phasized the use of the torpedo, which more than any 
other naval weapon demands intelligence married to 
extreme coolness in moments of danger. 

The torpedo doctrine thus emotionally, if not intel- 
lectually, became a part of French naval tradition. And 
this matter of tradition is particularly important in naval 
warfare, where events occur with such rapidity that tra- 
dition, indoctrination, constitute not so much thoughts in 
themselves as part of the mechanism by which thought is 
achieved. French naval theorists Daveluy, Castex - 
might write in support and extension of the battle-fleet 
principles enunciated by Mahan. French naval maneu- 
vers might be planned in accordance with those princi- 
ples. But in directing specific actions, even in the use to 
which naval appropriations are put, the principles of 
Mahan are often less influential than those of the Jeune 

The 1919 reaction against the battleship was nowhere 
so violent as in France; the evidence that the last battle- 
ship action had been fought nowhere seemed so irrefu- 
table. All the sea powers stopped work on battleships 
after the Washington conference; but even before that 
gathering took place France had abandoned construction 
on no less than nine keels, as many as England and the 
United States together. The result of the conference 
seemed to confirm French opinion that the battleship was 

But if the battleship were dead, the naval war of the 
future belonged to the light, fast ship and its auxiliaries 
below the surface of the sea and in the air above it. The 
naval limitation treaties thus marked for France the 
renascence and triumph of the Juene Ecole a Jeune 
Ecole which now accepted the strategic doctrine that 
command of the sea must be achieved as a prelude to 


any effective naval action, but which now interpreted its 
traditional doctrines into tactical methods for achieving 
command of the sea. They looked on the naval battle of 
the future not as a dingdong tussle between two long lines 
of armored giants pounding each other with heavy guns, 
but as a bewildering fantasia of ships plunging in and 
out of smoke, fog and night at forty miles an hour with 
airplanes rocketing from the skies and submarines rising 
from the depths. 

In such a battle torpedo and aerial bomb would be at 
least as important as the gun; armor would be nearly 
useless; ship-crippling accidents would be continuous, 
and if one of these happened to a big ship, it would de- 
duct a heavy percentage of a fleet's total force. The large 
unit was also a large target, difficult to move at the speeds 
demanded by the French speed tactics. She could be use- 
ful only as a threat, to confine the heavy ships of an enemy 
behind the breakwaters of its own harbors. 

The actual fighting in such a war would be done by 
light vessels, led and supported by a few cruisers, with 
numerous submarines to scout for them and lay traps for 
raiders. These light ships should be cheap; fast enough to 
dodge aircraft; large enough to carry many torpedoes; 
large enough to survive a couple of salvoes from a light 
cruiser. They should mount a gun that would fire with 
great speed a shell heavy enough to hurt a light cruiser 
or to knock out a small Italian destroyer or torpedo boat 
in a few discharges. 

The total result was a series of gigantic destroyers, 
in size and tonnage about equal to the small cruiser of 
1900. They are the most typical ships of the French navy 
and the general difficulty in properly pigeonholing them 
is expressed in the fact that they are called by Italians 
esploratori explorers, or scouts by the Germans 


torpedo-cruisers by English and Americans, super- 
destroyers and by the French themselves contre- 
torpilleurs anti-torpedoers. All through the '20s France 
continued to build these ships till she had thirty-two, each 
class a little larger than the one before it, each a little 
better armed, till the climax was reached with Volta and 
Mogador of 1932, which have eight 5.5-inch guns and ten 
torpedo tubes on a displacement of 2,900 tons, with a 
speed of thirty-eight knots. None of the class is more than 
a knot slower; Terrible of the 1930 class did forty-five 
knots on her trials, which is nearly fifty-three miles an 
hour, and a lot of speed for anything that must cut water. 

In tactical exercises these ships showed that they were 
as good as they had been planned to be. In short, the 
Jeune Ecole had a success on its hands; and it was with ex- 
treme reluctance that French naval men contemplated 
the change in the whole basis of their naval plans that 
the re-introduction of the battleship would bring. 

But there was no help for it. Germany had Deutschland 
on the way and had announced the building of a second 
ship of the class; and the French felt these ships had to 
be outbuilt. 

THE DESIGN OF THE FIRST French battleship, the first bat- 
tleship of any kind, built in more than ten years, was the 
product of many and somewhat complex factors. Both 
English entente and French tactical doctrine required 
that she should not be so large that her loss (perhaps by 
torpedo or mine) would amount to a national disaster. 
The same torpedo doctrine demanded that she be partic- 
ularly well protected against underwater explosions. 
The new ship, Dunkerque, therefore received something 
hitherto unheard-of underwater armor, right down 
to the keel, connecting with an elaborate series of longi- 


tudinal and lateral bulkheads, also armored and braced. 

In fact, although Dunkerque' s belt armor was only 
eleven inches thick (that of the last British battleship was 
fourteen inches, and of the last American sixteen inches) 
over forty percent of her total weight was put into armor; 
more than in any ship before built. 

Dunkerque' s primary duty would be that of dealing with 
the German pocket battleships. Therefore she had to 
have speed enough to run them down, at least thirty 
knots. She had to have guns big enough to puncture 
their armor at long ranges and numerous enough to keep 
Deutschland under a rain of fire that would ruin her own 
shooting. The 12-inch gun, even in numbers, would not 
quite meet the conditions, although England had wished 
the 12-inch gun on the 25,000-ton ship. It fired a pro- 
jectile of 870 pounds weight against the 670 of the Ger- 
man 11 -inch. France had to go a little beyond English 
hopes and design a new piece of artillery, a 1 3-inch, firing 
a 1,193-pound shell, decisively to outmatch the German 
guns. Eight of these weapons gave Dunkerque a huge 
superiority over the six lls of one Deutschland, and even a 
comfortable superiority over the twelve lls of two, 
thanks to their hitting power and the relatively thin 
armor of the German ships. 

But when these characteristics had been added up they 
came to considerably more than 23,333 tons; more even 
than 25,000 tons. Some weight was saved by putting the 
eight guns into two enormous four-gun turrets, an ar- 
rangement with which the French had experimented 
before the war, though they never completed any ships 
with such turrets. Even then Dunkerque worked out at 
26,000 tons, so France had to raise the ante on tonnage 
as well as on gun-calibre just a trifle above the level where 
England wanted it stabilized. 


The French are a logical and legalistic race. It may be 
that they believed this demonstration of how decisively 
their navy, bound by its treaty restrictions, could out- 
build the German marine, bound by the document of 
Versailles, would be sufficient. It may be that they 
thought the building of Dunkerque would suffice to halt 
the construction of any more pocket battleships. If so, 
they were grievously mistaken, for Adolf Hitler had come 
into power, a man without logic, who despised legalism. 
He announced the laying down of the third, fourth and 
fifth pocket battleships, too many for Dunkerque to handle 
alone. France replied with a second Dunkerque, named 

The moment was ill chosen. Mussolini was already 
making motions in the direction of Abyssinia and the 
French were making faces at him over it. Germany stood 
his only friend in the matter, and the treaty structure 
allowed him to return the compliment with battleships. 
For the Franco- Italian naval accord had fallen through; 
Italy was bound only by the Washington treaties. Those 
documents allowed her as many battleship tons as France, 
which could be put into ships up to 35,000 tons apiece. 

Strasbourg, like her sister, was being built against 
Germany, but Mussolini now affected to believe she was 
being built against him. Using the treaty restrictions 
against France as France was using them against Ger- 
many, he laid down two battleships which should have 
35,000 tons against the Dunkerque' s 26,000, nine 15-inch 
guns against eight 13s (that is, 17,280 pounds weight of 
broadside against 9,544 pounds), 32 knots against 30. 
They outclassed the Dunkerques by almost exactly the 
margin the latter outclassed the Deutschlands; and they 
were the signal for the new naval race to begin. 

One Man's Lie and the Tragedy 
it Brought to the Donner Party - 

Epic of Endurance 


GRANDMA KEYES was seventy-five and bedridden, but 
just let them try to go without her ! She waved 
aside their tales of Indians and other mortal perils of the 
long journey to California in that year of 1 846 and refused 
to be parted from her daughter and grandchildren. 
Yielding, her son-in-law, James F. Reed, gently placed 
her on a featherbed in his double-decker covered wagon 
and, the pioneer family joining friends, the Donners rolled 
westward from their Illinois homes. Soon the indomitable 
old lady would lie in a grave in the Kansas prairie. Yet 
the flaming spirit which had filled her would carry on the 
Donner Party in the face of death by knife and bullet, 
thirst, starvation and bitter cold. 

Unscathed, they traversed the lands of the savage 
Sioux while spring waxed into summer. Campfires 
glowed on picnic gaiety at hearty meals of buffalo and 
antelope steaks, followed by songs and reels to lively 
fiddling. No dark presentiments foreshadowed the cruel 
destiny which would forever engrave the story of these 
emigrants on the annals of the settling of the West. 

By Little Sandy Creek, southwest Wyoming, they en- 
camped with other wagon trains, and in the shade of 
canvas tops lettered "California or Bust" and "In God 



We Trust" the emigrants argued routes. All must eventu- 
ally scale the Sierra Nevadas by the same pass. How they 
should reach it was the burning question. 

Thousands before them had gone over the well-worn 
Oregon Trail to the Northwest. But these were among the 
earliest settlers California-bound. They were lured by 
General John C. Fremont's reports of the paradise he had 
newly explored west of the Rockies. And they were en- 
couraged by President Folk's announcement in 1845 that 
he intended to annex the vast territory, then feebly held 
by 500 Mexican soldiers and populated with a mere 
sprinkling of Mexican ranchers, Mission monks and 
Yankee fur traders. So now a trickle of migration was 
starting. Presently it would become a roaring flood. 

There was a book, too, which had fired the imagina- 
tion of these Middle Westerners - - The Emigrants' Guide 
to Oregon and California, by Lansford W. Hastings. None 
suspected that the hypocritical Hastings was scheming to 
recruit a following from settlers to raise himself in still- 
Mexican California to the pinnacle Sam Houston had 
achieved in Texas. They only knew Hastings had taken 
several parties through successfully. And his cut-off- 
southwest through Wyoming to Fort Bridger and thence 
south instead of north of Great Salt Lake would save 
at least 200 weary miles. Hastings had left word he would 
wait at the Fort and lead the way. 

But veteran frontiersmen had gravely warned against 
the new route, and when the camp on Little Sandy 
Creek was broken July 20, only twenty wagons veered 
away on Hastings' route, while a far larger train stuck to 
the older trail. 

Onward under the captaincy of good-natured George 
Donner rolled the smaller, more adventurous party - 
eighty-seven souls with their goods and cattle typical 


builders of the West. Hope beat as steadily as that 
"litany of patience," the slow tread of the oxen. To- 
gether, sharing a dream, marched Americans, Irish, 
Germans; the learned and the unlettered; elderly folk 
past their prime and infants at breast; one family whose 
scant belongings did not fill one wagon and another 
with a string of wagons and $10,000 sewn in a quilt. 
Among the populous clans certain individuals stood out: 
James Reed, impetuous and able; diminutive Tamsen 
Donner, an ex-schoolmistress, George's wife; Will Mc- 
Cutcheon, six-foot-six, who swore round oaths straight 
out of Shakespeare; Charles Stanton, with the clear gaze 
of the idealist; brave William Eddy, a dead-shot; a tall 
bearded, sinister figure, the German, Lewis Keseberg, 
who spoke four languages. 

REACHING FORT BRIDGER, the Donner Party found Hast- 
ings had gone on with another train. Jim Bridger, Indian 
fighter and trapper, welcomed them heartily; he would 
have missed their trade had they taken the northern 
route. Sure, he told them, the Hastings cut-off was 
shorter and mostly good going. They'd strike one dry 
drive, maybe forty miles, but could carry water and 
grass. He lied to them, and for that sin ghosts should have 
risen from the Sierra snows to haunt Jim Bridger the rest 
of his life. 

On rolled the covered wagons over rough and rocky 
ground. At Weber River they found a note from Hast- 
ings, fastened to a twig, which told of trouble met by a 
better-manned train ahead in Weber Canyon and urged 
that they avoid the canyon and cross the Wahsatch 
Mountains. Wearily, double- teaming the oxen for steep 
climbs, they tackled it. Every mile had to be hewn 
through the wilderness. At last they got through, but it 


had taken them twenty-one days to go thirty-six miles. 
Summer was almost gone, provisions were dwindling. 
Snow soon would bar the Sierras. 

South of Great Salt Lake, near the site of the present 
city, they loaded grass and water and plunged into the 
desert march. "Only forty miles," Jim Bridger had said. 
It was nearer eighty ! Day after day they toiled on under 
glaring haze, the distant mountains seeming always to 
recede before them. Mirages mocked them. Once the en- 
tire train beheld itself reflected as if in a gigantic mirror. 
One of the emigrants stared at a flanking file of twenty 
replicas of himself, aping his motions. Water was almost 
gone, and men and beasts suffered agonies of thirst. Their 
train stretched out, disintegrated. Wagons were aban- 
doned, and oxen unyoked to be driven more quickly. 
Once loose, some of the crazed animals stampeded and 
vanished into the desert. For five torrid days they 
marched. For five frigid nights the children, wailing from 
the cold, huddled against the dogs for warmth. When at 
length they reached a spring, they had lost a fourth 
of their oxen. 

The Donner Party was now dangerously behind 
schedule. Crippled by loss of cattle and wagons, they 
could never complete the journey without more provi- 
sions. In desperation, they sent Stan ton, the idealist, and 
towering Will McCutcheon ahead to press over the pass 
to Sutter's Fort in the Sacramento Valley and bring back 
food by pack train. Meanwhile the diminished train 
creaked onward; and now they were in Indian country 
again. The furtive Digger Indians dared make no direct 
attack, but by theft and whistling arrows they whittled 
down the surviving cattle. 

The tempers of the harassed pioneers were worn raw. 
On a steep hill, two wagons became entangled. Team- 


ster Snyder furiously beat his oxen. When Reed pro- 
tested, Snyder crashed the heavy butt of his whip down 
on the other's head. Reed's hunting knife flashed and 
was buried in the teamster's chest. Though more whip 
blows thudded on Reed and on his delicate wife, who 
thrust herself between the fighters, Snyder soon tottered 
and fell dead. 

Rough-and-ready pioneer law tried the killer. Plainly 
he could plead self-defense. But Reed, considered an 
"aristocrat," was not popular, while Snyder had been a 
jolly fellow around the campfire. Keseberg, bearing a 
grudge, propped up the tongue of his wagon for a gal- 
lows tree and demanded death. The sentence, however, 
was banishment, and Reed strode off, on foot and un- 
armed, into the wilderness. His family managed secretly 
to provide him with a horse, rifle, and food. So the exile 
did not go forth to perish; the Donner Party, fortunately 
for them, would see him again. 

DEATH MARCHED OFTEN with the emigrants from now on, 
as desert sands again clutched the wheels and Indians 
raided by night. Old Hardkoop, a Belgian, put out of 
Keseberg's wagon to lighten the load, fell behind and dis- 
appeared. Some urged going back for him, but those with 
saddle horses refused to lend them. It was close to being 
every family for itself now. The desert also swallowed 
Wolfmger, a German reputed to carry a large sum of 
money. Accompanied by two young compatriots, he had 
dropped behind, and when the other two returned with- 
out him, they evasively declared that Indians had killed 
him. The kind Donners took in Wolfmger' s widow, and 
dully the train pushed on, plagued by thirst and hunger. 
Hope revived at the Truckee River where Stanton, 
back from the Sacramento Valley, met them with two 


Indian vaqueros driving seven pack mules laden with 

They rested, recruiting their strength. Between them 
and the Promised Land of California lay a climb over the 
lofty Sierra Nevadas. Already it was dangerously late in 
October, yet normally the pass would be open until mid- 
November. Alas, they were no mountaineers, these Mid- 
dle-westerners, and they could not read the signs of an 
early and severe winter. Still, the dark gloom of the skies 
slowly crept into every heart, and there was near-panic in 
the dash the straggling train finally made for the last lap. 

Past the present site of Reno they rolled and into the 
frowning outworks of the Sierras. Hurry, for God's sake, 
hurry! They streamed by an abandoned cabin on the 
shores of Truckee Lake. Wagons discarded, goods packed 
on bucking oxen, little children caught up, they flung 
themselves at the snow-capped pass. Mules breaking trail 
sank into deep drifts. Stanton and an Indian forged ahead 
to the summit but returned to help the others. Then dusk 
balked them and they encamped to wait and try again 
the next day. 

That night the snow swept down, piling up ten-foot 
drifts. The emigrants retreated to the lakeshore cabin and 
hastily erected other shelters against the raging storm. 
Around them, the snow built vast, soft prison walls. 

Shelter of a sort, clothing, firewood, they had. But food 
was scant and went fast. To attempt the snow-blocked 
pass again was futile. Days passed. Their few remaining 
cattle were slaughtered and eaten, and the dogs were 
next. Fishing proved useless. One day William Eddy, the 
marksman, tracked down an 800-pound grizzly bear, 
wounded it with his last bullet and then clubbed it to 
death. The bear meat did not feed hungry mouths long. 

Urged by starvation, ten men and five women left on 


December 16 for a despairing attack on the pass. They 
had a few provisions and snowshoes made by Uncle Billy 
Graves from memories of his Vermont youth. Guided by 
Stanton, and the vaqueros, they struggled on day after 
day. One morning Stanton told them to go on; that he 
would follow. Snow-blind and exhausted, he knew he 
never could. Once he had been safe in the Sacramento 
Valley but had returned to save his friends. Now, gal- 
lantly, he died alone in the snow. 

Food gave out entirely. Finally, after two days of com- 
plete starvation, Pat Nolan uttered the dreadful thought 
that lay behind the wild, desperate eyes of them all. They 
still had something to eat food of the last resort 
human flesh. 

Who? They asked the terrible question. Let lots be 
drawn. But what then? Should they butcher the loser in 
cold blood? Let two men fight it out with six-shooters to 
determine the victim. But they could not bring them- 
selves even to that. 

In the end starvation, cold, and exhaustion chose for 
them. One by one, the men began to drop and die. Most 
of the wretched survivors succumbed to the fierce craving 
they could no longer resist. They cut flesh from the 
corpses, roasted it over the fire and ate it, "averting their 
faces from each other and weeping." One thing only 
they avoided. None would eat the flesh of his kin. 

Now THEY WERE ABLE to reel forward on bleeding, cloth- 
swathed feet, but soon they were starving again. Deer 
signs in the snow, seeming a token from Heaven, drew the 
indomitable huntsman, William Eddy, in pursuit, ac- 
companied by Mary Graves, once the prettiest girl in the 
train but now a thin, wan hag. At last they sighted a big 
buck only eighty yards away. Then came a heart-break- 


ing moment. Eddy was too feeble to lift his gun and aim. 
With all his will and strength, he painfully hitched the 
gun, inch by inch till the butt rested on his shoulder, let 
the barrel swing down until sights covered the deer and 
fired. The animal leaped, sprang away. 

"Oh, merciful God," cried Mary, "you missed it!" 

But he had not. The deer fell, and they rushed on it, 
cut its throat and gulped its blood. 

The deer meat was soon devoured, and the pangs of 
starvation returned. This time the desperate, covert 
glances fastened on the two Indian vaqueros. Eddy, for- 
bidding the sacrifice of men who had come to their 
rescue, warned them and they escaped. Too weak to flee 
far, for they, like Eddy, had refused human flesh, the 
Indians were overtaken, prone in the snow, still clinging 
to a spark of life. William Foster shot them. Once more 
there was sustenance. 

Almost a month from the time they left camp, Eddy 
and Foster, out of ten men, with all five of the women, 
tottered out of the mountains into an Indian camp and 
were helped on to a valley ranch. 

California now rallied to bring out the rest of the 
Donner emigrants. A party starting February 1 got 
through to the camp back by Truckee Lake after valiant 
effort. Out from the huts flocked the starving remnants 
of the party, past dead bodies which had been dragged 
out on the snow. Cattle, dogs, and all other food had 
been eaten, and they had kept life in themselves with the 
gluey boilings of oxen and buffalo hides. 

Distributing the scant supplies they had been able to 
pack, the first relief party started back to the California 
valleys with all the Donner party survivors who were 
strong enough to travel: three men, four women, and 
seventeen children, some so small they had to be carried. 


Seventeen of this group were still alive when met by an- 
other band of rescuers. And this band was led by James 
Reed, the man they had exiled for murder. He had 
fought his solitary way over the mountains to safety, 
after his banishment, and had made several heroic at- 
tempts to return through the snows with succor for his 

His supplies on this final attempt came in the nick of 
time. His daughter Virginia tottered into his arms and 
led him to his wife who had collapsed in the snow. His 
joy was tempered by the news that his two youngest still 
were starving in the snowbound cabins. Reed sent the 
rescued on and led a few hardy men back through the 
perilous pass. 

Down by the cabins, they saw a figure move. They 
were in time. But horrible signs declared the price at 
which life had been bought. There were bodies in the 
snow from which flesh had been slashed. Once more it 
had been cannibalism or death. 

But Reed's two children still lived. Carrying them and 
other little ones, mustering all those with strength to walk, 
this second relief expedition plunged back into the pass. 
Although almost overwhelmed by disaster when the food 
caches they had left on the trail were found to have been 
devoured by animals, Reed won through with his chil- 
dren and a few others. 

Now EDDY AND FOSTER, spurred by word that their little 
sons were still alive in the camp, dared the march back 
to the lake with two comrades. There dreadful news met 
the two fathers. Their boys were dead and eaten. Surviv- 
ors accused Keseberg, the German, of this cannibalism, 
and he, "in a sort of perverted bravado," confessed. 
Somehow the fathers kept themselves from killing him, 


feeble, crippled, and defenseless as he was. It could not be 
proved he actually killed the children, who might have 
died of starvation. So he was merely left behind when the 
four men of this third relief party, each carrying a child, 
started back. 

Left behind also, by her own choice, was little Tamsen 
Donner. She bade her two young children farewell, as 
she had their two older sisters who had escaped earlier. 
She was strong enough to have gone with them, but 
nothing, not even his own pleadings, could move her 
from the side of her dying husband, whose name has come 
down in history attached to the ghastly story of the 
Donner Party. 

Tamsen Donner's two young children, and the two 
other little last survivors, crossed the Sierras safely in the 
arms of their four rescuers. Then, in mid- April, one year 
after the Donner Party left Illinois, a fourth and last re- 
lief marched to the lake. Humanity had prompted 
earlier expeditions, and heroism led them. This one was 
bent on salvaging the property of the emigrants, none of 
whom was expected to be found alive. They found the 
booty there and one survivor, Keseberg. He told the 
story of the last grim days. Tamsen Donner had stumbled 
into his cabin, half-crazed, weeping that her husband 
was dead. That night, Keseberg said, she, too, succumbed. 

The men did not believe him. Their suspicion that he 
had murdered and devoured the little ex-schoolmistress 
was strengthened when they found Donner jewelry in his 
possession. But Keseberg declared the valuables had been 
given him by Tamsen for safekeeping. All the rest of his 
life he maintained his innocence. 

The salvagers took Keseberg back with them the 
last man out. At a camping place of one of the earlier 
parties, Keseberg idly grasped a piece of calico showing 


above the snow. The softening snows loosened to reveal a 
dress and in it the frozen corpse of his daughter Ada. 

So ended this most amazing saga of our westward 
march. A tale of death, sudden or torturingly slow, which 
claimed forty of these pioneers of less than a century ago. 
A tale of epic endurance which brought forty-seven 
through to the Promised Land they sought. With varying 
vicissitudes, the survivors lived out their lives, some to a 
ripe old age. The last survivor of the Donner Party died 
in 1935. Their evil genius, Hastings, died in 1870 in 
Brazil where he was seeking to found a colony of ex- 
Confederates. Keseberg, after a brief period of Gold Rush 
prosperity, dragged out a long, miserable existence. 

At their place of tribulation in the Sierras, rechristened 
Donner Lake and now a resort, there long stood the 
stumps of trees, twenty feet high, marking the height of 
the snow surface above which the emigrants hacked 
down firewood. Where one of their cabins stood is a rock 
with a bronze tablet. On it, today's summer tourist, or 
the winter sports enthusiast pausing on his skis, may read 
all the eighty-seven names of the Donner Party. 

The American Navy's 
Little Brother Grows Up - 

I We Build a Merchant 

I Marine 


MOST OF us REMEMBER the last war and our situa- 
tion with regard to shipping. Anything that 
floated and some did not do that too well was 
pressed into service. Sailing ships which had rotted at 
their moorings, coastwise vessels never intended for 
overseas trade, wooden ships and steel ships, all were used 
in the frantic effort to carry on our foreign trade. And 
then when we entered the war and were faced with the 
necessity of moving troops and supplying them, shipyards 
sprang up all over the country. The products were as 
diversified as the opinions of the men who conceived the 
greatest shipbuilding effort ever undertaken. Every type 
of material was used: steel, wood, even concrete. Where 
previously construction time had been counted in 
months, days then sufficed. Over three billion dollars was 
the cost, and the result was a tremendous number of ships 
unsuited to the needs of peace. It proved to us, neverthe- 
less, that our lethargy of the past should never be per- 
mitted in the future. 

We recognized the need for American shipping but our 
efforts to develop a merchant marine adequate for peace 
and war were disappointing. Our ships were slow and 
costly to operate. Our people were not "American ship- 



minded." The future of our oldest industry was indeed 

With the experience of the last war fresh in our minds 
we realized the risk of disruption of our foreign commerce 
if the transportation facilities of other countries were 
denied us and we understood that the only solution was 
the provision of our own merchant shipping. We were 
cognizant, too, of our shipping needs in the case of a war 
in which we might be engaged without the help of 

Our present policy does not contemplate the sending of 
large forces of troops overseas, but sound reasoning indi- 
cates that that may be necessary in the future if we are 
properly to pursue the course which our stake in inter- 
national affairs may demand. Naval needs in shipping 
are apt to overshadow the requirements of the other 
armed forces, but when the broader aspects of overseas 
warfare are considered it will be found that the demands 
for shipping to transport Army personnel may almost 
exceed those of the Navy. 

In a recent study regarding the relationship between 
our merchant shipping and national defense, it was found 
that for basic national defense purposes we now have 
available some 1,400 American ships. Technical military 
purposes would immediately require 1,000 operating 
ships. The military establishments would take over prac- 
tically every one of our ships now operating in overseas 
foreign trade and 600 of those in the coastwise trade. 
The stupendous problem of changing from a peace to a 
war basis is easily realized by consideration of these 
figures. Such a transition cannot be permitted to disrupt 
our normal commerce entirely, and the avoidance of 
such a catastrophe must be one of the guiding principles 
in the formulation of our shipping policies. 


FOLLOWING THE ENACTMENT of the Merchant Marine Act 
of 1936 and the creation of the Maritime Commission to 
supersede the old Shipping Board Bureau, certain ex- 
haustive studies were undertaken in order to determine 
the condition of the Merchant Marine. Ships are natu- 
rally a major requirement and it was concluded that a 
minimum of 500 new ships over a period of ten years 
under an orderly and systematic building program should 
be our goal. The international situation may, of course, 
require an expansion of this program, but our immediate 
requirements warrant what is now contemplated. This 
number of vessels would be sufficient to replace our entire 
subsidized fleet of 153 ships, and to provide sufficient 
high-speed tankers for naval auxiliary needs. It would 
also cover new tonnage for lines at present operated by 
the government and for essential routes not yet served by 
any American flag service. The balance it is hoped may 
be absorbed by unsubsidized operators in the domestic 
and foreign trades. 

Up to the end of May the Maritime Commission, either 
strictly for its own account or in conjunction with private 
operators, had contracted for sixty-six new vessels. Two 
of these, high-speed tankers of a radically new design, 
were taken over by the Navy upon their completion, thus 
indicating the adaptability of the new construction to 
national defense needs. Included in the vessels now under 
construction and soon to be completed is the largest pas- 
senger vessel ever laid down in American shipyards. This 
ship will, appropriately, be named America, and will be 
operated in the North Atlantic trade. 

Besides, there are fifty fast cargo carriers building to 
three standard Maritime Commission designs. These 
vessels will either be sold or chartered upon their com- 
pletion as will ten combined passenger-cargo ships of the 


same general design as sixteen of the cargo ships, but 
altered to include passenger accommodations. Three 
combined ships and four cargo vessels of special design 
for two private operators are also building. The ten re- 
maining tankers are intended for private oil carriers but 
one additional may be acquired by the Navy under its 
auxiliary ship program. 

These vessels cost the private owners no more than the 
standard tankers now in use and the expense of installing 
engines of far greater power and certain other "national 
defense features" is borne by the Maritime Commission. 
Besides furnishing a tanker reserve of inestimable value, 
trials with these ships may bring about important changes 
in existing theories of the economics of ship operation. 
The feasibility of running vessels at almost 20 knots in 
contrast to the heretofore required 1 3 knots will prove an 
interesting study. 

What has been done is but the beginning. On the draft- 
ing boards are plans of other new ships. Larger and faster 
passenger vessels for the Pacific to compete with the latest 
products of Japanese shipyards, additional tankers suit- 
able for naval use but more adaptable to the needs of 
some of the oil companies, and cargo and combined ves- 
sels of new design, are all contemplated and will probably 
be laid down within the immediate future. In fact, bids 
for a series of somewhat smaller and slower cargo vessels 
have already been asked. The second year's installment 
of our ten-year program is thus assured. 

that our plan for replacing fifty ships a year for ten years 
is certainly not overly ambitious, and called attention to 
the significance of the British government's subsidy which 
brought forth in one month alone contracts for 190 cargo 


liners and tramp ships. Italy also has announced her in- 
tention to build 200,000 tons of shipping annually for 
ten years. 

The vessels we are building are both steam and Diesel 
propelled. They embody many of the advances in design 
and construction which have been made in recent years. 
Safety and efficiency have been the guides in their de- 
sign. Soon house flags will be broken and, for the first 
time in eighteen years, new American cargo vessels will 
commence regular operation. These vessels will exceed 
by almost fifty percent the speed of the ships they will 
replace. In the hope that something of the spirit and 
pride which surrounded our merchant fleet in the clipper 
days may be revived, many of our new freighters will 
carry the names of illustrious ships of that era. But tradi- 
tion alone is not enough upon which to build a merchant 
marine. More material support is required and this, in 
sufficient quantity, has not been forthcoming in the past. 

The American traveling public and shipping public 
have not given their own ships the share of traffic which 
is imperative if we are to develop an adequate privately 
owned merchant fleet. "Travel and Ship American" is 
not a patriotic appeal; it is a plea for greater conscious- 
ness of the economic soundness of patronizing an industry 
which is vital to our commercial welfare and to our 
national defense, and one to be maintained regardless of 
cost to the nation, irrespective of whether it be privately 
or government owned and operated. 

The pages of our daily newspapers furnish us with am- 
ple evidence of how inadequately the situation is under- 
stood by those in a position to give support to our 
maritime ventures. Seven out of every ten Americans 
who travel the North Atlantic sail on foreign-flag vessels. 
It is to be regretted that many of the patrons of competing 


lines are in such prominent positions as to influence 
others. They fail, indeed, to appreciate the cost to the 
nation of their heedlessness. Of 112 million dollars col- 
lected by foreign-flag ships transporting passengers be- 
tween the United States and foreign ports in 1938, eighty- 
three millions represented the contributions of travelers 
resident in this country. 

Today, American ships are carrying less than thirty 
percent of our foreign trade. No one urges, nor would it 
be wise, that even all of our own trade be carried in 
American bottoms, but our present share is not sufficient. 
Estimates indicate that were our share of the carriage of 
our foreign trade to rise even to thirty-five or forty percent 
of the total, the annual revenues of our shipping com- 
panies involved would probably increase some seventy- 
five million dollars. More than half of that sum would go 
to lines now subsidized at a cost to the taxpayer of some- 
thing like thirteen millions annually. The greater the 
amount of earned income, the smaller the amount which 
the government must contribute to maintain operation. 

The Merchant Marine Act of 1936 is clear in its desire 
to foster the development of a privately owned American 
Merchant Marine. There are critics of the government's 
further entry into the shipping business and, frankly, 
certain of the moves which have been made point to 
greater governmental participation. The answer, how- 
ever, is not as much within the power of the Maritime 
Commission as it is up to the people themselves who use 
(or too frequently neglect) our shipping. This is a highly 
competitive age, but deliberately to aid our competitors 
at our own expense seems to be the height of folly. 

THE BASIC ACT under which the Maritime Commission 
operates was designed to provide such aid to American 


shipowners as would place them on an equal footing 
with their foreign competitors. In its declaration of policy 
it refers to the necessity for a merchant marine, "owned 
and operated under the United States flag by citizens of 
the United States insofar as may be practicable." The 
accomplishment of these objectives, we have seen al- 
ready, is largely up to the American public itself. A mer- 
chant marine we must have, and the choice is between 
private ownership and operation with limited govern- 
ment aid and government ownership and operation with 
unlimited expenditure, as the Senate Committee on 
Commerce stated in reporting the bill which, with 
amendments, became our present shipping legislation. 

Aid to our ship operators is given in two material 
forms. In the construction of new tonnage for our essen- 
tial lines, the government pays the difference between 
foreign costs and the cost in our own yards. This is known 
as the construction-differential subsidy. There is also the 
operating-differential subsidy which places our operators 
in a position of parity with their foreign competitors 
whose labor and other charges are below ours. A counter- 
vailing subsidy to offset the effect of governmental aid 
paid to foreign competitors is also authorized, but the 
difficulties of determining the basis upon which such pay- 
ments should be made has, thus far, prevented aid of this 
nature being extended to our shipowners. 

While the Maritime Commission is primarily inter- 
ested in the development of the subsidized portion of our 
Merchant Marine, it is fully cognizant of the need for 
additional construction by unsubsidized operators in the 
overseas, coastal, and intercoastal trades. No subsidy may 
be granted persons building vessels for lines which are not 
deemed essential or for operation in the coastal and inter- 
coastal trades, but long-term payment through the com- 


mission may be arranged. As yet only one application for 
aid in the construction of a vessel not covered by a con- 
struction-differential subsidy has been received, and bids 
were considered too high to undertake building at this 

Realizing the interdependence between our overseas 
shipping and coastal and intercoastal lines, both from the 
standpoint of our foreign commerce and national de- 
fense, the Maritime Commission undertook a special and 
comprehensive study of the two domestic branches. The 
problems of an industry which purchased much of its 
working material for as low as twenty dollars a ton when 
it cost the government two hundred dollars to build and 
would cost about the same to replace today, can well be 

Since the domestic trade has enjoyed protection from 
foreign competition for more than a century, direct 
subsidies do not appear to be warranted. Other aids may, 
however, be extended and the commission has recom- 
mended that it be permitted to accept old vessels as a 
credit against new construction. As American vessels 
cannot be sold abroad without the consent of the com- 
mission, the owner cannot take advantage of higher 
prices in foreign markets. Being penalized in this respect, 
it seems only fair that the government assist him in the 
manner recommended. 

The ability to accept old vessels will permit the Mari- 
time Commission to build up a reserve of laid-up ships 
for use in an emergency. It is at present the commission's 
policy not to sell such vessels for competitive operation, 
and it is desired that this policy be given legislative ap- 
proval in order that the potential threat of competition 
from this direction may be definitely eliminated. Greater 
stability in the industry is expected from such a move. 


MATERIAL FACTORS are not the only consideration in the 
building of a merchant fleet. The training of the men 
who man the ships and the service which they offer are of 
equal importance. There has been criticism of service on 
American-flag ships. On occasion this has been justified, 
but no general criticism of our personnel can be sup- 
ported in fact. Undoubtedly there is room for improve- 
ment, but this is true of the ships of other nations as well. 
The difference is, we advertise our shortcomings; our 
competitors do not. The record of the American Mer- 
chant Marine from the point of shipboard casualty for 
the past several years shows it to be the safest in the world. 
The commission Desires that that record be maintained. 

To insure that our standard of safety be not only main- 
tained but, if possible, improved, a broad program of 
training has been undertaken at several ports throughout 
the country. Even the unions which at first objected so 
strenuously to the training program are being brought 
around to appreciate that greater skill in the execution of 
duties will tend to foster the development of a stronger 
industry with promise of expansion and more widespread 
employment. There are problems still awaiting solution 
but they are not believed to be insurmountable. 

The original Merchant Marine Act was last year 
amended to facilitate the development of an adequate 
merchant fleet. Further amendments have been recom- 
mended and it is expected that efforts will continue to be 
made to strengthen existing legislation and to encourage 
the stabilization of the shipping industry. Replacement 
alone is not the goal. Expansion dictated by our needs 
will come as well. Already announcement has been made 
that with the completion of the first of the new cargo 
ships, our Scandinavian shipping route is to be extended 
to include Norway which, heretofore, has not had 


American-flag service. Similar extensions may be ex- 
pected in other areas. The "Good Neighbor Fleet" which 
has been much publicized is reported to be operating 
successfully. Two of the older vessels which formerly 
were used in the South American service have been 
turned over to the Army and, as the Hunter Liggett and 
Leonard Wood, will be used to strengthen our transport 
service to meet the demands of our rapidly expanding 
military forces. The other two have been laid up and so 
will not compete with vessels already established in 
essential services. 

There have been references to the "absurd extremism" 
which believes our policy to be to develop a merchant 
fleet to support the Navy rather than to build a navy to 
protect the Merchant Marine. Our expressed policy in 
this regard is that we shall have a merchant marine suffi- 
cient to carry our domestic water-borne commerce and a 
substantial portion of our water-borne export and import 
foreign commerce, and to provide shipping service on 
all routes essential for maintaining the flow of such 
domestic and foreign water-borne commerce at all times, 
and also capable of serving as a naval and military auxili- 
ary in time of war or national emergency. We recognize 
the vitality of naval defense in our insular position, but 
anyone who studies the question realizes that without 
the support of a merchant fleet capable of serving as 
auxiliaries the strength of our naval forces is dissipated. 
There is no question of either one being built entirely to 
support the other. Both are essential and complementary 
to one another. Which comes first is not as important as 
their joint existence. 

Merchant fleets are not built overnight; their crews are 
not trained without effort. We cannot expect miracles. 
Our years of neglect were costly and we are still paying 


for them, but there is a brightness of promise in the dis- 
tance. Government commissions acting alone cannot 
give us what we need; laws enable action to be taken, but 
something more is necessary if we are to build for per- 
petuity. Our people must support what is theirs. This is 
not propaganda; it is common sense. Every dollar we 
give to foreign, competing shipping means another dollar 
we shall have to make up to our own shipping if we are to 
maintain it. That we intend to maintain it goes without 
question. The final cost of its maintenance, however, is 
up to us, the shippers and travelers of the country, to 


Continues to Threaten 

Even in Church 


NOT DENOMINATIONALISM, nor theological differences, 
but a much more fundamental cleavage threatens 
the modern church. This divisive force works in every 
community. Able church leaders stand helpless, almost 
resigned, before it. 

"It was an unfortunate marriage from the start," said 
the Survey Associate Director. They had married for 
convenience rather than love. Both Congregationalist 
and Baptist churches had seen population movements 
cut their membership. They united to survive, and the 
Federated Church was born. But the two classes of people 
just could not get along in the same church. "'They' 
would bring their children," one old member told us, "and 
the youngsters climbed all over the tops of the pews and 
stuck chewing gum all over the bottom. We' couldn't 
stand it." From the time of their union in 1918 each 
group grated on the other's nerves. Two classes could not 
successfully be included in the same institution, they 

We had spent months studying the situation as in- 
vestigators for the interdenominational survey group 
of the city. Undoubtedly the two groups had been clash- 
ing. Matched against that continuous fact our favorable 



evidence seemed outweighed. The denominational heads 
gave their consent. The Federated Church decided to 

Are Protestant churches essentially class institutions? 
Do they never really attack the most serious barriers that 
stand between men? Do they complacently plan for 
separate institutions for each class, and never hope that 
all classes in a community may worship and serve in one 

The experience of this Federated Church in Chicago 
seems to show that church leaders believe such divisions 
are inevitable. They have almost admitted that one 
fritters away time in trying to bring "lower-class" fami- 
lies whose children must accompany them to w r orship 
services, into the same church with " upper-class" fami- 
lies who are irritated by those children. The Church 
seems to have wandered far from the carpenter who dared 
to declare that all men must be able to worship together 
as brothers. 

As a matter of cold fact, surveys under Paul Douglass 
and others have shown few Protestant churches able to 
cross class barriers. A new class invades a community, 
but the church does not weave it into its organization. 
Another church is started for the new class. Sometimes 
the new class drives the original church out to the new 
community whence many of its people have been pushed. 
Roman Catholic churches under their central authority 
seem able to remain and adjust themselves to the new 
type of residents. But Protestant churches move with the 
classes they serve. 

Denominations seem unable to cross class barriers. 
Indeed, they rather minister to them. A common ar- 
rangement: Episcopal churches corral the more prosper- 
ous families, Methodists the middle class, Baptists the 


less prosperous, with the other denominations ranged in 
between. In most communities each denomination has 
become so identified with the class it serves, that attack 
upon the class nature of the church runs into the weight 
of the whole denominational system. Indeed, as H. Rich- 
ard Niebuhr points out in a careful study, the mightiest 
obstacles to church union today arise from the class 
character of most denominations. 

OCCASIONAL EXCEPTIONS under special conditions prom- 
ise little general improvement. Henry Sloane Coffin can 
explain how he brought millionaires and slum residents 
together as fellow-workers in Madison Avenue Presby- 
terian Church of New York City. Women with run-over 
heels worship with Gold Coast residents in John Timothy 
Stone's Chicago Church. Almost every denomination 
has some such exception. A number of "down- town" 
churches at least partially succeed in bringing diverse 
classes into the same church. But they hardly bring them 
together. They worship in different pews in a huge audi- 
torium, serve in different organizations, and live miles 

Even the most favorable unifying factors are overcome 
by the pull of class division. In a survey in the western 
suburbs of Chicago we found two Bohemian Baptist 
churches within a few blocks of each other. The first 
established was in Cicero, Illinois, in the main an attrac- 
tive residential city in spite of its unfortunate reputation. 
To the west grew the newer and slightly higher-class city 
of Berwyn. Narrow Austin Avenue was the only mark of 
the boundary; strangers could never tell in which town 
they were. Yet the Bohemian Baptists of Berwyn could 
not be persuaded to come the few blocks to their home 
church. They felt themselves of a higher class. Common 


language and denomination did not matter they had 
to start a Bohemian Baptist church of their own. My 
fellow-surveyor told me of his experience on the staff 
of one of the richest churches in New York City. This 
church made a strong and continuous attempt to attract 
a poorer class not far away. With the children they 
seemed successful, but as the children grew into adoles- 
cence, the differences grew between them, and by the 
time college age was reached, the children had divided 
again into classes almost as distinctive as those of their 
parents. And the poorer class was decidedly not in the 

Protestantism sniffs, and says, "What of it?" (Protes- 
tantism prides herself on her liberty of action.) Only a 
few voices are raised in warning. James Myers of the 
Federal Council of Churches declares: "Lack of personal 
contacts between economic classes constitutes, to my 
mind, one of the most serious dangers of our civilization," 
and points out how seldom churches "gather into one fold 
a cross-section of our economic life." President Coffin of 
Union Seminary emphasizes that danger of having a 
class church in America. Jerome Davis, formerly of Yale, 
thus summarizes the expression of thirteen labor leaders 
on the American church: "... the majority believe 
that the church ... is a class institution for the upper 
and middle classes," and he is inclined to agree with 

Six YEARS AGO we came upon a laboratory in Chicago's 
far Southside. Here if anywhere it seemed the church 
could achieve success in breaking class barriers. The 
classes were almost within arms' reach of each other. All 
were Anglo-Saxon and Protestant. The oldest group con- 
sisted mainly of the children of German and other North 


European settlers with a fringe of the original Europeans 
now thoroughly Americanized. Two other classes had 
appeared in the last ten years: the one, families of native 
American stock that had been attracted from the hill 
country of the South by the booming steel mills; and the 
other, similarly American, having moved out from the 
pleasant but crowded South Shore district, upper-middle- 
class families whose wage-earners commuted to their 
offices in the loop. Here were three Protestant classes of 
approximately the same racial stock with the greatest 
gap apparent between each class an average difference of 
four years in schooling. Chance of success could hardly be 
improved: only one church, established for more than 
twenty years; and these three groups of people living 
within a mile square, all Americans yet distinct in class, 
who should be able to be brought together through the 
church if any could. 

Consistently this church progressed among members 
of its' own class. In six years membership and attendance 
tripled. Eight other varieties of North European nation- 
ality and even some French and Italians were blended 
successfully with the German-American stock. With no 
competing churches on the field, denominational barriers 
proved weak: inactive Episcopalian, Christian Science, 
Southern Baptist persons renewed their membership in 
this church, as well as representatives of all other major 
Protestant denominations, with the original denomina- 
tion accounting for only ten percent of the new members. 
And of the hundreds of new members received, more 
than ninety percent continued active. Thus such sturdy 
barriers as national and denominational backgrounds 
were overcome. 

But class barriers! The groups frankly admitted that 
they did not want to be brought together. "Those 


people . . . !" they said with mutual pity and distaste. 

Undismayed, the church set itself to make welcome the 
upper-middle-class commuters. Instead of the denomi- 
national label, it adopted the name Community to show 
its purpose in going beyond denominational lines. It 
provided transportation for the children of newcomers, 
offered its ministrations in sickness and performed the 
last rites at death, adjusted and added to its services in an 
effort to provide worship valuable and attractive to both 
groups. Before our eyes family after family of the com- 
muter class were drawn into the church. Yet almost as 
consistently they dropped away. Rather than stand the 
strain of bridging the gap between groups, the com- 
muters' families preferred to travel additional miles to 
other churches in neighboring centers of population. 
Children from the group attend the church school, occa- 
sional families attend worship services, ministrations are 
welcomed, and the reasons for bringing the groups to- 
gether have become well known. 

Yet the fundamental class barriers stand apparently 
untouched. Today after six years of effort in this made-to- 
order laboratory, the upper-middle-class families are 
slightly more friendly with the German-Americans, but 
that is about all. The latter continue to declare the 
commuters snobbish, and the former reply that the 
German-Americans are cold and unfriendly. 

Prospects with the Southern group seemed hardly more 

"Mountain goats," the German- Americans unchari- 
tably called them. 

"Foreigners!" they sniffed in reply. 

"We do not pay a pastor to go and speak and pray for 
those people," some of the German- Americans told their 
new minister shortly after his arrival. He had attended a 


prayer meeting newly started in the home of the Southern 
families. He was able to pacify the congregation and con- 
tinued his friendly approaches, seemingly with success. 
Southern families came to the church, helped sing in the 
choirs, attended and taught in the Church school, were 
represented in the "confirmation" classes, though they 
continued their separate prayer meetings. A leading 
family in the Southern group had decided to become 
members and were delaying their entrance only that 
others might come too. 

Then something happened, and at the next visit of the 
pastor, he shivered in the chilliness of his reception. "You 
are all right as a man, but you do not preach the gospel," 
the family told him, "and your church is not the true 
church." The Southern families did not appear again. 
The pastor called on a leader of the Southern group and 
was told: "Possibly two percent of your people are 
'saved,' but certainly not the others. We cannot co- 
operate with you." 

An extreme fundamentalist group had come in from 
the outside and had apparently caused the split by its 
gloomy theology and its denunciation of the theatre and 
cinema. But only apparently; its chance appearance 
but provided the occasion for the break. The causes of 
cleavage lay far deeper. 

Actually weddings, and cards, and rooms per person 
had more to do with the division than did theology. In- 
dividually insignificant but collectively mighty, class 
differences drive groups apart. In this community the 
commuters follow a wedding with a dinner dance; the 
German- Americans with a "shivaree," as do the South- 
erners unless they are married out of town. The com- 
muters play bridge, or poker, the German-Americans 
pinochle, while the Southerners, whether or not they 


play, regard card games as instruments of the devil. 
The Southerners are comfortable crowded two or three 
to a room in rented quarters; the German- Americans 
spend a large proportion of their incomes to provide 
homes of their own, usually with no more than one person 
per room; the commuters have the best homes, but spend 
much less care and a much smaller proportion of their 
income upon them. German- Americans and Southerners 
keep gardens, the commuters have neither the time nor 
the inclination. Many of the barriers between the classes 
seem decidedly minor. Yet these factors and others like 
them keep the groups apart. The results of six years 
of effort on the part of the church seem little more than 

ALL OF THESE have been mentioned as factors of class 
division: leisure pursuits, cards, chewing-gum, wedding 
celebrations; worship habits, children on pews, denomi- 
nation; and schooling, rooms per person, home owner- 
ship, racial, national and sectional background. Is there 
a dominating factor? 

Sims' "Score Card for Socio-Economic Status," a 
standard instrument for measurement of class, takes cog- 
nizance of most of the above factors (except the religious 
ones) and adds some more: telephone, heating and plumb- 
ing, servants, cars, magazines and books. Yet of the 
twenty-three factors Sims lists, twenty-two depend 
heavily upon income, that is, persons of higher income 
tend to make higher scores in every item but one. In that 
one, occupation in the professional class conveys a higher 
score than occupation in business. Yet even here money 
has exerted its weight, for the professional man must have 
spent for his training more than business training would 
have cost. 


It seems that income helps directly or indirectly in 
creating every one of these factors that divide men into 
classes. In the " laboratory experiment," the two factors 
least connected with income, denomination and national 
background, were most easily overcome. If the Protestant 
Church wishes to emancipate herself from her class status, 
she must realize that class divisions depend overwhelm- 
ingly upon difference in income and appreciate the tre- 
mendous odds against her in an attack on class. 

Unfortunately class lines have been growing more and 
more distinct. I once suggested to a high official of a large 
corporation that there did exist poor people who wanted 
to work, to progress, but were kept down by circum- 
stance. "No," said he, "there are no such people as the 
underprivileged. Everyone has a chance to succeed if he 
just takes it." A tire magnate declares that people can 
find work if they are anxious to work, even if they have 
to shine shoes. Opinion mounts also on the other side. 
One "class-conscious" working girl I talked with for 
hours, quixotically trying to convince her that there 
might be some good somewhere in a rich person; but she 
held valiantly to her thesis that the wealthy were totally 
selfish, unfeeling, anxious only to keep the poor in sub- 
jection. Conditions of life and work continually grow 
more complex. Different classes have less and less chance 
to become acquainted. All the more each comes to think 
of the other as something less than human. 

That difference in income which lies at the base of 
class difference continually widens. The present adminis- 
tration in Washington avows as a central purpose the 
more equal distribution of income; some of its prominent 
figures seem to have done what they could to further that 
purpose. Yet relief has averaged five dollars and sixty 
cents per family per week, with work relief averaging 


more but occasionally bringing individual families even 
less. Income tax figures continue to show decrease in real 
income in the lower brackets, and steady ominous leaps 
higher in the number of million-dollar incomes. At that 
rate, recovery or recession, we are clattering fast on the 
way to revolution. 

Perhaps the church can do nothing about it. She may 
have grown impotent in changing society, what some 
have called building the Kingdom of God. Perhaps she 
should be content to baptize, marry, and bury her mem- 
bers, to preach to them the words of a personal gospel, 
and flee the thankless task of directly attacking barriers 
by bringing together different classes for worship and 
service. One ancient church did so give up, and prophets 
of the Kingdom began indignantly to deny all connection 
with her: "I am neither a preacher nor the son of a 

Already ministers who aspire to be prophets are dis- 
turbed lest their opportunities and talents for building 
the Kingdom be stifled in a church which must provide 
a separate unit for each class of men. "Stay out of the 
pastorate, unless you want to be throttled by organiza- 
tion," said one active pastor (of a University Church of a 
conservative denomination in the East) to a ministerial 
student. "Go into labor organizing; there you can do 
something for the Kingdom of God." That student is 
now a labor organizer. 

Whatever one may think of that advice, such work at 
least seems to offer an opportunity for attack far more 
direct than is possible for a church upon this income dif- 
ference at the base of class division. Not a few ministers 
have taken that course. Today they serve labor in posi- 
tions that range from rank-and-file organizer to union 
president and political party head. Their platform abil- 


ity, historical perspective, and zeal for justice have been 
devoted to enabling labor to obtain a proper share of the 
products of its work. 

YET MANY FEEL that the church holds a strategic position 
in any attack upon class. Labor organizing itself has not 
succeeded gloriously in adjusting income differences; 
labor can use all the force the church can lend against 
that basic cause of class. And while all groups unite in a 
long-term struggle for equable distribution of income, the 
church can also serve uniquely by bringing together 
diverse classes for mutual worship and service. Let each 
class grow to know the other under the guidance of com- 
petent leadership, and class barriers are directly weak- 
ened and possibility of violent change pushed into the 

But the church must awake to the need and its oppor- 
tunity. That Federated Church in Chicago failed not 
only through the thrust of population change but also 
through the church leaders' blindness to the necessity 
of such efforts succeeding. That "laboratory experiment" 
described above may seem to show negative results. But 
with the understanding improved among the classes in 
that community, with the problem and need understood 
and admitted, with members of the other classes coming 
into the church (the last months gave definite promise 
of a possible multiplication of the present few), that 
church can count itself successful when it considers the 
tremendous need and difficulty of the situation with 
which it has wrestled. 

The Quakers through their American Friends Service 
Committee are experimenting with a new method of 
attack upon class divisions. Groups of young adults come 
into conflict situations and work full laboring hours at 


community construction projects. The suspicion and re- 
serve of hard-pressed workers melt away before bour- 
geoisie obviously not working "for" them so much as 
"with" them with unmistakable picks and shovels. 
Herriot's widely used Christian Youth in Action describes 
the first summer's building of a reservoir and pipeline 
where we saw the doubt and scorn of stranded miners 
change with our sweat into respect and approval. This 
sixth summer has placed hundreds of campers in six 
locations including TVA, mining, manufacturing, mari- 
time labor, and agricultural situations, each project 
centering in full-time physical labor. 

But the average church can begin right at home, in 
direct attack upon class barriers in its own community. 
Once loosed, the educative and persuasive powers of the 
Christian ministry and the huge potential of sacrificial 
power in Christendom can make tremble even the 
complex and mighty barriers of class. 

Even suppose that the Church will accomplish little. 
Saturated with doctrine, weighted with too many mem- 
bers, confused with denominationalism, she faces odds 
within as well as without. Certainly there looms no im- 
mediate prospect of a completely classless Church. But 
the Church can raise her standards to include attack upon 
class as a major goal. She can declare: "No church within 
reach of different classes can consider herself a tolerable 
unit of the Kingdom of God unless she strives to bring 
those classes together as brothers." 


Old Masters at the World's Fair 
From Giotto to David 

PARADOXICALLY ENOUGH, the best collection of master- 
pieces of the past probably ever assembled in this 
country may be found at the World of Tomorrow. This 
anachronism is appropriately displayed in a building de- 
signed by Messrs. Harrison and Fouilhoux (who are also 
responsible for those architectural baubles, the Trylon 
and Perisphere) and further enhanced by a pool and 
courtyard murals executed by Lionel Feininger with due 
deference to modernity. The galleries consist of twenty- 
five rooms opening upon each other in chronological suc- 
cession so that the visitor may follow, like a graph, the 
spiritual development of Europe from the early Renais- 
sance to the beginning of the nineteenth century, from 
revolution in technique through social revolution. The 
transitions in character and direction of the last four 
hundred years may be observed almost as an organic 
process, and should illustrate even to the most sceptical, 
the significance of art as an historical rather than a 
personal or fugitive function. 

We may begin as the exhibition does, with the work of 
Giotto (Gallery I) whose innovations marked a cleavage 
with sterile medieval traditions in art, just as the eco- 
nomic growth and prosperity of his native Florence 
marked a transition into commercial individualism and 
expansion, bringing with them a new morality and con- 
cept of the destiny of man. The time may be described as 
one of optimism and uncertainty in which conventional 
values and patterns were abandoned for still untried 
ones, and assurance was sought from antiquity. In Rome, 


ART 175 

classical ruins had just been discovered. The identifica- 
tion with former grandeur and power was inevitable. 
However, new Christian doctrine (the Church was no 
longer behind remote walls) conflicted dangerously with 
the rediscovered paganism. A bastard development en- 
sued, part medieval, part classical, combined by an 
energy and curiosity that were unique and original. 

Giotto discarded the formalization of the Byzantine 
mosaic with its emphasis on static design. He concerned 
himself with the problems of space and movement, the 
realistic reproduction of man as an individual in nature, 
and not as a rigid symbol subordinated to an artificial 
pattern. His influence changed the current of European 
painting and may still be discerned in the work of Diego 
Rivera. It had its most direct effect, of course, on Giotto's 
near contemporaries: Taddeo Gaddi who succeeded in 
breaking away from the Byzantine use of color, and 
Agnolo Gaddi whose Coronation of the Virgin indicates an 
improvement on the Master's treatment of the human 

The fifteenth century merges the early Gothic with the 
middle Renaissance; it follows upon Gallery I and the 
Sienese school exemplified by Duccio da Buoninsegna 
and Sassetta, both of whom adhered to the form and 
spirit of the Byzantine tradition, due no doubt to the 
stability and conservatism of Sienese life. We come upon 
the Annunciation of Fra Angelico who, despite the ad- 
vances made by Masaccio and Delia Quercia, still clings 
albeit poetically to the medieval details of orna- 
mentation which Giotto, absorbed by discovery, lacked 
the time to throw off. Fra Angelico is essentially the 
Dominican and his decoration reflects the delicacy 
and color of old Tuscan missal-painting, contrasting 
strangely with the anatomical realism of his figures. 


In the same group Paolo Uccello is represented with a 
profile Portrait of Michele Olivieri painted with a linear in- 
tensity that is almost geometric. More than any other 
craftsman of his time, Uccello was obsessed with prob- 
lems of technique. It is he who invented perspective and 
created the first portraits, spreading his influence through 
Piero della Francesca and Signorelli to the following 
century. Florence was soon to reach its apogee; experi- 
mentation was leading to certainty and control; scientific 
method would produce an assurance proportionate to 
the no longer new but expanding materialism. 

WHILE FLORENCE and Venice were flourishing under the 
Renaissance, Jan Van Eyck, an illuminator in Flanders, 
was inventing the use of oils in painting. Temperamen- 
tally he belonged to the thirteenth century, unaware of 
any conflict between spiritual and physical values. 
Flemish society was still robust, middle-class, honest; its 
wealth was derived from the manufacture of textiles, 
velvets, laces; life was regular, balanced; the individual 
lacked spontaneity, was subordinated to habit; and in 
Flemish painting personality was subordinated to nature. 
In the Van Eyck Madonna (Ince Hall) the faces are 
limned with the kind of scrutiny required in the produc- 
tion of lace; the cloth woven onto the canvas; the color is 
as brilliant as dye. The painters of the time, like any 
other guild members, soberly reflected its leading in- 

Neither the Van Eycks, nor Petrus Christus (Portrait of 
a Carthusian Monk) nor Bouts (Moses Before the Burning 
Bush) were in any way affected by the influence from the 
South which in the same century made itself so strongly 
felt in Avignon. It was not until a hundred years of 
materialistic impoverishment that Flanders looked to 

ART 111 

Italy for guidance. Gerard David marks the transition 
into the sixteenth century, although his style is still dis- 
tinctively Flemish. The Annunciation displays a familiar 
attention to detail; texture is treated as though it ex- 
pressed human character, the heads employed merely as 
pained and emaciated masks. 

On the other hand, Patinir's Rest on the Flight from 
Egypt reflects the artist's travels abroad, although he still 
retains a Flemish eye for color and a love for his native 
landscape; but the color harmonies are voulu - - they are 
no longer evoked by the subjects or feeling of a century 
ago. Flanders is constricting, and so is the artist's resigna- 
tion to his task. What Pieter Breughel brought back from 
Italy was not an innovation in form or technique but a 
sense of personal expression, a quality which his Flemish 
predecessors (essentially illuminators) had deliberately 
subordinated to the anonymous mechanics of their 
craft. The Wedding Dance is an unmistakable declaration 
of personal experience and celebration. The artist has 
become an interpretive instrument; he no longer paints 
with a jewel-cutter's hand, but with his consciousness. 
(Galleries IV, V, VI) 

The transition from Gothic art was accomplished with 
more difficulty in Germany than in Flanders. Its artisan 
aspects may be traced to Diirer and Holbein, who cul- 
minated a long line of diligent and uninspired craftsmen. 
Diirer inherited the faith and mysticism of the Middle 
Ages but he also suffered from the curiosity and thirst for 
knowledge that marked the Renaissance. His engravings 
combine both elements: exacting in execution, yet con- 
fused in affirmation. Holbein was more directly influ- 
enced by the Renaissance. He knew the drawings of 
Michelangelo, da Vinci and Raphael, and perhaps 
learned from them the dangers of German sentimentality. 


His Portrait of Edward VI is an excellent example of 
plasticity, of the analytic quality of his line in character 
delineation, of portraiture achieved through an indi- 
vidualized rather than a generalized technique. Lucas 
Cranach, the third painter in this group whose native in- 
fluence was terminated by the Reformation, seems to 
belong in a school by himself. His Nymph at the Spring is 
medieval in drawing, Flemish in color, sensual in ap- 
proach, and yet maintains a poetic coherence which 
raises it far above the level of merely eccentric painting. 
(Galleries VII and VIII) 

The late Renaissance in Italy is marked by the pro- 
ductivity of the great masters da Vinci, Michelangelo 
and Raphael. In Leonardo we find the scientific ac- 
quisitiveness of Uccello carried to its most perfect con- 
clusion, the investigation of nature from the seed to the 
grave, the painting of authority and control, the cele- 
bration of knowledge in an attempt to cope with the 
rigors of a new order. Raphael and Michelangelo 
working in harried, war-torn Florence sought the an- 
swers to questions which Giotto had first posed, the 
sensual and intellectual ideal which their age demanded 
in return for the medieval social ideal of which it had 
been deprived by new discoveries and economic devel- 
opments. Raphael embodied this new ideal, gave it 
form, movement, plasticity. Michelangelo failed to 
convey or experience Raphael's serenity; his figures are 
imprisoned by their own strength, rooted in their own 
anguish and energy. In seeking a balance for the dis- 
quietude and expansion of his society, he succeeded in 
arresting both those qualities in time. (Gallery VIII) 

In Venice the transition to high Renaissance was 
effected more gradually. After the accomplishments of 
Mantegna and the two Bellinis and the investigations of 

ART 179 

Carpaccio, after the fall of Constantinople and the mari- 
time discoveries which gave the world a new center of 
commerce, Venetian culture, turned in upon itself, 
reached its nadir. Its art produced Giorgione, Titian, 
Tintoretto, Veronese and Tiepolo. All were born of the 
same abundant movement, filled with the same passion 
for sweeping areas of color, celebration of the flesh and 
the physical enjoyment of nature. Giorgione (The Holy 
Family), influenced by Flemish landscapes, was perhaps 
the most poetic, although Tintoretto and Veronese were 
both great innovators in craft. (Gallery IX) 

IN SIXTEENTH CENTURY Spain, El Greco who studied 
under Tintoretto and absorbed many of the master's 
compositional devices, was nonetheless producing paint- 
ings which had little connection with the traditions or 
tendencies of his time. His design suggests the Oriental 
influences of his early origin, but his expression was per- 
sonalized in an atmosphere as melancholy and meta- 
physical as death. Like Cranach, whose superior he is in 
every respect, he belongs to a school of his own. There is 
no plausible relationship between the Crete's work and 
the painting of Velasquez, who was only separated from 
him by a few years. The Velasquez Self Portrait is an ex- 
cellent example of detached, unemotional style. Yet for 
all its realism and structural integrity, after the Greco it 
seems to suffer from rigidity and a lack of spontaneity 
which remind one of the other possibilities of distortion 
the spiritual distortion of a banal, thoroughly efficient 
imagination. Goya, who acquired realism by way of 
Velasquez, enjoyed the added advantages of wit and 
dramatic arrangement. He offers beyond the range of 
technical accomplishment, trenchant social criticism. 
(Galleries X, XI, XII) 


When Velasquez was not quite thirty he met Rubens 
in Madrid. Rubens was already the established leader of 
the seventeenth century Flemish school. He brought to 
it carnality tempered with a metaphoric approach to 
nature, its vitality and pervasive forces. He epitomized 
flesh, crucified it on sensation. Aside from Breughel, no 
other Flemish painter has ever articulated Rubens' pure 
joy in life. His pupil Van Dyck became merely a facile 
and fashionable portraitist. But in Holland a new move- 
ment was rising, a movement which would soon produce 
one of the great geniuses of all time. The Netherlands had 
only recently won their independence; they preserved it 
in their art which from beginning to end is Dutch in 
feeling, spirit and matter, unaffected by the Italian in- 
fluences which Rubens had spread through the north. 

Rembrandt followed Franz Hals whose meticulous 
characterization and simplified palette may be observed 
in the Elderly Woman Seated. Preoccupied with con- 
ventional subject matter, Rembrandt's early period is 
notably represented by The Rape of Europe and The 
Visitation; the color tonality, his figure arrangements and 
competition are so extraordinarily different from the 
sombre, dramatic, highlighted portraits of the later 
period, that coming upon them is like the discovery of a 
new master. Vermeer, de Hooch, Ruysdael all make 
their contribution to Holland culture, but somehow, 
despite its brilliance, their work is not comparable to 
Rembrandt's. (Galleries XV through XXII) 

THE TRANSITION to eighteenth century England (where 
art started late and never developed any significant 
proportions) may be accomplished with ease. The fa- 
miliar and homogeneous work of Reynolds, Romney, 
Gainsborough, Raeburn and Lawrence is on view; also 

ART 181 

an oil by Hogarth, The Graham Children, a well-assembled 
family group, surprisingly hanky-panky in character and 
tone for the master of English satire. (Gallery XXIV) 

The seventeenth century in France is marked by the 
escape into Italy of Poussin and Claude Lorraine. 
Poussin with his love for antiquity and the work of 
Raphael brought classical formalism and Renaissance 
color to his careful architectural landscapes. Claude, 
influenced by the Dutch, naive and romantic, created an 
atmosphere around his nostalgia for France, as impres- 
sioned and personal as Mallarmee's poetry. 

The Baroque achieved its full glory in Watteau, who 
synthesized and yet transcended the social cliches of the 
period, and in the ecole galante, Pater and Fragonard 
reflected the elegance, the delicacy and incredible 
artifice of court life. With the enthronement of Louis XV, 
the movement burst into the effulgent and hysterical 
bloom of the Rococo. Vigee Lebrun, under the patronage 
of Marie Antoinette, immortalized in her portraits heads 
that were soon to fall. Jacques Louis David, after the 
Revolution had struck, was one of the few painters to 
survive and develop with the new regime. Like Fra- 
gonard he knew the classic ruins. As Napoleon's court 
painter he set himself the task of expurgating the refine- 
ments and absurdities of eighteenth century painting, 
reviving classical simplicity. It was an esthetic purge 
following upon a short-lived social purge, and it suc- 
ceeded. But other purges from Delacroix to Cezanne 
were already waiting, like Elba, in the distance. 



Mass Appeal. Summer Fes- 
tivals and Outdoor Music 

EVERY NIGHT, from about June first to about Sep- 
tember first, there takes place a peculiar regimen- 
tation of American people. Under the stars, thousands 
of them gather in groups of single-minded purpose, 
obeying an order of the benign dictatorship of music. 
Most of us think of Winter as being the real music season. 
But in Summer there are probably five times as many 
concerts per day, and ten times as many people per con- 
cert, than at any other time of the year. In the open air 
stadiums and the temporary wooden music halls are 
played the foundation pieces of the Winter repertoires; by 
virtuoso orchestras which probably play with more verve, 
if not with quite so much artistic subtlety, as during the 
Winter season. They play under young conductors, for- 
eigners conducting for the first time in this country, old 
maestros who have chosen not to take European tours. 

The spirit of these concerts is for the most part gay - 
they constitute a sort of evening vacation for those who 
have to work in cities. The music follows the popular 
taste in classics; beer and coca-cola glasses are tapped on 
outdoor tables to the tune of the Polka from Schwanda, a 
Strauss Waltz, or Toreador. The institution of the out- 
door concert is a true proof of the original gregarious 
purpose of music. The stadiums are usually full, the seats 
are free, or any price up to $1.50 all in all, the Ameri- 
cans can show that they love music just as much as any 
other people. 

Most of the leading cities have outdoor orchestral 
concerts during the summer. To mention a few: Newark 


MUSIC 183 

has its Essex County Orchestra; in Philadelphia the 
Robin Hood Dell presents a lovely setting for the music 
of the Philadelphia Orchestra; Washington has its 
"Sunset Symphony"; the Minneapolis Symphony Or- 
chestra gives its " Nights in Old Vienna" series, con- 
ducted by Guy Fraser Harrison. In Chicago the sym- 
phony orchestra performs in a park; in Los Angeles it in- 
habits the Hollywood Bowl, under the baton of the 
capable Pierre Monteux. Popular opera is performed in 
Cincinnati and Toledo, and in St. Louis there are the 
"Muni" operettas. 

Of course, there are innumerable band concerts, such 
as the Goldman band, conducted by Edwin Franko 
Goldman in the Central Park Mall in New York, and 
the band at Jones Beach, Long Island, which is accom- 
panied by fireworks. And there are many non-profes- 
sional orchestras, such as the City Amateur Orchestra of 
New York, which gave one especially capable and lively 
performance this summer under the direction of Judge 
Leopold Prince in the Mall. This orchestra consisted of 
100 young men and women, of whom Mayor La Guardia 
said with real sincerity: "This is one of the best concerts I 
have ever heard given by a group of young performers." 
In contrast to this, there is the incomparable Berkshire 
Festival, a project carried out with more finesse, charm 
and true artistry than any festival in this country or 

THE REVIEW can concentrate on only one group of con- 
certs those given by the New York Philharmonic 
Orchestra at the Lewisohn Stadium in New York City. 
The series opened with a bang, in the traditional grand 
Damrosch manner. La Guardia, who probably goes to as 
many concerts as City Council meetings, and who was to 


have opened the program by giving a speech and lead- 
ing the orchestra in The Star-Spangled Banner, instead 
said tersely: "We will sit through good music, but we 
will not stand for bad speakers," and turned Walter 
Damrosch loose on the audience of 12,000. The high- 
light of the program was Albert Spalding's performance 
of the Tchaikowsky Violin Concerto, which he and Dam- 
rosch did together at Spalding's debut years ago. An en- 
thusiastic audience demanded encores, which were per- 
formed by Spalding with Mr. Damrosch at the piano. 
When the sheets of music blew off the stand, and Mr. 
Damrosch continued from memory, neither he nor the 
audience was the least disturbed. Goldmark's Spring 
Overture, also performed at this concert, is a fresh, lyrical, 
unconfined piece, not profound nor particularly original, 
but very easy to listen to. 

Several conductors made their Stadium debut this 
summer. Among these was Carl Bamberger, a Viennese, 
who conducted two concerts. The first was a heart- 
warming all-Viennese program, consisting of Schubert, 
Mozart, Brahms and Johann Strauss. The conducting 
was as able as any that we heard this summer at the 
Stadium, which is not surprising, considering that Carl 
Bamberger has conducted for a good many years in 
European capitals, and was considered one of the most 
distinguished of young European conductors. He should 
be welcomed here as one of the really good " finds" 
which have come to us through Hitler's grace. 

One of the pleasantest Stadium evenings was the one 
devoted to two children, Julius Katchen, 12, pianist, and 
Patricia Travers, 10, violinist. Julius tossed off the Schu- 
mann Piano Concerto as if it were just another chore. He 
plays with a serious, concentrated air, and in spite of his 
age, he manages to get away from the "first day at the 


fair" attitude that characterizes many small prodigies. 
The Schumann Concerto is a tough lot of notes for small 
hands, and it contains more emotion than most 12-year- 
olds could encompass. But whoever taught the little 
boy what Schumann has to say, Julius Katchen had cer- 
tainly made it his own this evening. There was no sign of 
stilted, second-hand interpretation, and his technique 
was completely adequate to the piece's needs. Patricia 
Travers played the Lalo Symphonic Espagnole with purity, 
verve and unusual breadth of tone. 

THE 25 j TO $1.50 OPERA presented at the Stadium is 
often as good as the same thing for $7.00 at the Metro- 
politan. Many of the singers are Met veterans; the or- 
chestra is as good as can be found anywhere; and the 
conductor, Alexander Smallens, has had a notable career 
in opera conducting. As far as scenery goes, the audience 
has to take very little more on faith than at the Opera 
House, with its Victorian, gilt-edged sets. And there is 
something very cheering in the familiar arias heard out 
of doors; the listener feels much more like whistling along 
with the singer than when he is surrounded by plush and 
evening clothes. 

Of course, the Stadium is only suited to fairly large and 
noisy opera. Mozart does not go over very well, except 
in the $1.50 seats, as was discovered a few seasons ago. 
The performance of A'tda this summer, however, showed 
the Stadium at its best. Alexander Smallens gave the 
luscious melodies ample space to expand; his perform- 
ance was brisk and lively, and Rosa Tentoni gave a 
good, full-voiced interpretation of the title role. 

Carmen was another high point. Bruna Castagna sang 
the title role, as she does at the Metropolitan, and made 
the Stadium vibrate with her peculiarly alluring, almost 


husky, contralto. She overplayed her part as any Carmen 
must do, in the most outrageously flirtatious manner 
possible. Nobody minds that, as the opera is a piece of 
scarlet melodrama anyway. Sylvia Brema, as the stereo- 
typed sweet young Micaele, did not act at all, but the 
part was never written to be acted. Her voice, though 
thin, was very high and sweet, and well-suited to the 
part. Armand Tokatyan, as Don Jose, and Robert 
Weede as Escamillo, sang their roles dramatically; all in 
all the opera was beautifully done and joyously received. 

THE STADIUM ALSO HAD a series of distinguished soloists: 
Hofmann, Lily Pons, Feuermann, and others. Among 
these I will mention only Emmanuel Feuermann, per- 
haps the world's greatest cellist outside of Pablo Casals. 
The program surrounding Mr. Feuermann was light and 
extremely charming. The Polka and Fugue from Schwanda, 
the Bagpipe Player practically set the audience dancing. 
Feuermann followed it with a superb interpretation of a 
rather dull piece Ernest Bloch's Schelomo. Following 
the intermission, he played the Saint-Saens A Minor 
Concerto, a lovely, light piece which set off his brilliant 
but restrained technique to advantage. The audience 
clamored for encores, and heard a solo from Feuermann 
of two perfect movements from the Bach C Major solo 
sonata. The pure, thin Bach sandwiched between Saint- 
Saens and Berlioz (the Rakoczy March), was a premedi- 
tated piece of genius, and was played as Bach should be 
played coolly and without too much emotion, yet 
with enough so that the rich inner lines of the music 
were apparent. 

AT THE END, we must at least mention the Berkshire 
Festival, a series of concerts presented at Stockbridge, 

MUSIC 187 

Mass., by Serge Koussevitsky and the Boston Symphony 
Orchestra. These concerts used to be held in a tent; 
within the last few years their cost has risen to $61,000 
each season, and a music shed has been constructed on 
the beautiful grounds given for this purpose by Mrs. 
Gorham Brooks. The Festival sells standing room only, 
weeks before the concerts begin. The varied programs, 
played and conducted with perfect artistry, give evidence 
of Mr. Koussevitsky 's breadth of musical vision. Bach is 
always his high point; this time it was a Bach Branden- 
burg Concerto which transported the audience. How- 
ever, he manages Prokofieff, Rimsky-Korsakoff, Dvorak 
and Beethoven with consummate skill. A further tribute 
to the Festival's popularity it makes no concessions to 
"popular taste"; it presents practically no soloists; the 
audience is prepared to listen to solid music throughout. 



Three Summer Musicals 
All of Them Feeble 

THE SUMMER SEASON brought to Broadway only three 
major productions, all of them musicals and all of 
them, alas, several miles removed from brilliance. The 
most popular seems to be The Streets of Paris, which will 
probably be running long after the fall season opens. 
A collection of vaudeville skits rather than a play, and 
with the thinnest of stories binding them together, it 
was written largely by Tom McKnight, Charles Sher- 
man, S. Jay Kaufman, Harold J. Rome, and Al Dubin. 
Jimmy McHugh composed most of the music. The 
performers include the celebrated Bobby Clark, Luella 
Gear, the team of Abbott & Costello, and the new South 
American importation, Carmen Miranda. 

Of the sketches little can be said. They will bring back 
pleasant personal memories to men and women who 
frequented variety houses twenty years ago, but few such 
former fans will find much of a lift in them now. The least 
effective and most unoriginal sketch, "History Is Made 
At Night," by Mr. Rome, is acutely embarrassing, while 
the best, "That's Music," by Mr. Sherman, owes its 
appeal to the superb acting of Abbott & Costello rather 
than to the script. Miss Gear, who has achieved a reputa- 
tion as something of a comedian, left at least one observer 
wondering what all the shouting was about. The music, 
on the whole, is very humdrum. 

A word about Carmen Miranda, who closes Act One 
with the singing of a half dozen South American songs. 
The present reviewer must report that the Miranda, 
as an artist, is ordinary stuff. Whatever charm and voice 


DRAMA 189 

she may have are duplicated by at least a hundred 
veteran night club singers and dancers in Manhattan. 

FEEBLE AS The Streets of Paris is, Tokel Boy (music and 
lyrics by Lew Brown, Charlie Tobias, and Sam H. Stept) 
is even less appetizing. Describing it presents difficulties, 
for Mr. Brown, who is also the producer, apparently saw 
fit to include everything, from a cheap gloss upon Ameri- 
can Revolutionary times to the stalest retelling of the woes 
of life in Hollywood. The very able Buddy Ebsen does his 
dolorous dancing very well, but the script and common- 
place music manage to get in his way too often, and the 
excellent Judy Canova has similar troubles. Altogether 
a bewildering, dull evening. 

From Vienna, a musical revue by the Refugee Artists 
Group, has brought before the New York public some 
first-rate acting, but unfortunately the skits are not timed 
to American audiences. They are too long and not suffi- 
ciently pointed, even when the ideas, especially in " Gar- 
den of Eden," contain considerable merit. One skit, 
"Little Ballerina," a satire upon interpretive dancing, has 
received much praise, and rightly so. It has sharpness and 
pace, and the very charming and gifted Ilia Roden does 
magnificently by it. One hopes that in their next produc- 
tion the Refugee Group will come nearer to the American 
way in the theatre. 



Weak Summer Productions 
Music on the Screen 

A: THE FIRST SIGN of Summer there is always a long, 
low moan from the cinema capital. Audiences fall 
off, the box office suffers terribly from the heat, and it is 
necessary, due to excessive production costs, to withhold 
the showing of the major efforts till fall. A lighter and less 
costly fare is released for hot weather showing. 

This would be amusing if those who control the in- 
dustry didn't seem really to mean it. It is amusing when 
one considers that the Summer output is not below the 
standard of any other season. The only difference lies in 
the absence of super-super type productions, and super- 
super names. 

When the industry spends three times the money 
necessary on a film it naturally needs three times the 
audience to show a profit. It needs three times as long for 
publicity campaigns with which to work the public and 
the daily press into a four banzai fever before release. 

If this were money and effort invested in excellence it 
would be excusable; as an exemplification of the old 
theory "spend money to make money" regardless of its 
contribution to quality, it becomes ridiculous. The same 
nonsense will be released late next Spring. 

There has been a diminution in quantity from foreign 
sources. The Soviet Union came through with some fine 
contributions, as usual. Great Britain offers us several 
films not below her customary grade. The only noticeable 
lack, and a lamentable one, is that of any entries from 
France. Since the continued imminence of war, the 
stiffening censorship and the curtailing of the parliamen- 



tary rights of the people are all likely to effect the indus- 
try in that country adversely. We can only wait with 
crossed fingers. 

WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN the noblest experiment of the 
Summer was Samuel Goldwyn's offering of Jascha 
Heifitz in a feature length film, They Shall Have Music. 
If you are the type of music lover who will stand in line 
in the rain for a gallery seat at a Heifitz concert you will 
be willing to sit through this bedraggled opus for a gen- 
erous and beautiful visit with the Master. 

This is the old story of the poverty-stricken Music 
School and the regenerated ragamuffin who, after a 
series of tear-jerking misadventures induces the virtuoso 
to save the school. It is badly written, maudlin, and inex- 
cusable as a frame for an artist of Mr. Heifitz' stature. 
The direction is halting and purposeless. The authors 
seemed intent only on getting as deep in the muck as 
possible before calling on the magic of music to extricate 

The cast is adequate but given impossible tasks. The 
studio has not yet learned how to make-up Andrea Leeds. 
A good children's orchestra is used ineffectually. Mr. 
Heifitz is a delight every moment he is on the screen. He 
is the best in his field, even in close-ups. 

The worst of this film is that its failure at the box 
office will be blamed on audience taste rather than studio 
stupidity and the public will be informed that it won't 
accept good music when offered. 

ANOTHER UNINTELLIGENTLY handled musical is the 
film version of the Gilbert and Sullivan Operetta The 
Mikado, made by Universal in England with an English 
cast "spiked" with the American radio tenor Kenny 


Baker. Had the production been "spiked" with imagina- 
tion in place of the tenor it might have fared better. 

Nearly everyone is familiar with this tale of the Em- 
peror's son who runs away from marriage to Katisha, 
with "a caricature of a face," and falls in love with Yum 
Yum, with a face like nobody's business, not to mention 
other assets. Yum Yum, however, is marked for marriage 
to her guardian, the very craven Lord High Executioner. 

The production is in a glaring technicolor, not un- 
suited to a musical fantasy. Its chief fault lies in too close 
adherence to the form and tradition of the original, stage, 

Baker, as Nanki-Poo, plays fairly straight. The others, 
mostly old established D'Oyly Carte troupers play in 
the typical Savoyard exuberance. The effect is incon- 
gruous. Especially since the slapstick antics of a Ko-Ko 
(Martyn Green) went out of pictures with the heyday of 
Mack Sennett. 

While the average musical, with no book to speak of, 
is flung on a large canvas; why must the rich material of 
W. S. Gilbert be so confined? 

The producers have played into the hands of the 
Savoyard enthusiasts, who number but a small per- 
centage of motion picture audience, too slavishly. By 
broadening the scene, devising more attractive or inter- 
esting make-ups and tuning the acting to the present-day 
screen requirements something new in entertainment 
may have been achieved. As it is, it represents the filming 
of a stage show. The songs, still the best combinations of 
words and music to hit the popular stage, hold up well. 

A PULITZER PRIZE PLAY reaching the screen usually gets 
a good script and careful production. The Old Maid has 
the additional advantage of Bette Davis. 


There is not, and never has been, another actress in 
Hollywood with the consistent brilliance of Miss Davis. 
It is sometimes difficult to decide whether it is all the 
actress, or whether the picture has some merit in itself. 

In this instance, unlike Dark Victory, Miss Davis does 
have a sound, well told drama to work with. Charlotte 
and Delia Lovell, cousins, grow up together. Charlotte 
is in love with a suitor of Delia's, Clem Spender. Delia 
rejects Clem to marry Jim Ralston, representing wealth 
and position. Charlotte confesses her love for Clem and 
has an affair with him before he is killed at Vicksburg. 

Illegitimate children were even more of a problem 
under the Victorian gas-lights than they are today. 
Charlotte founds a shelter for orphans, in which to raise 
hers undetected. 

Later, when Charlotte is ready to marry Joe Ralston, 
Delia insists she give up the home first, and Charlotte 
tells her the truth. Delia breaks up the marriage and 
insists Tina, the child, be raised with the better advan- 
tages of her, Delia's, household. 

From there on it is a struggle for Tina's love with 
Charlotte, known to the child as an aunt, having all the 
disadvantages. It is a bitter and frustrated path of years 
faced by the unfortunate mother, and Miss Davis walks 
them with grim artistry. 

Edmund Goulding's direction is distinguished. Miriam 
Hopkins, getting her first fair chance in pictures, takes 
full advantage of it. Her performance as Delia is so fine 
that choice roles should be falling at her feet now. 

Jane Bryan, as Tina, displays a growing talent. If her 
employers remember she is not only beautiful she might 
go very far. 

The over sentimental sequences and the moribund 
ethical codes can be overlooked. The Old Maid is a good 


picture for anyone but will prove especially attractive to 
young girls, happily married women and thoroughly 
married men. 

WHILE MR. CHAMBERLAIN is playing at appeasement he 
might get in some good practice in the film industry. 
Gaumont-British, for instance, might be talked into con- 
cessions in the form of American-English versions of 
British pictures. The threat of A "Georgia Cracker" At 
Oxford series should be enough to swing it. 

The close-cropped speech of The Ware Case is difficult 
in places, even for a trained ear. Otherwise it's a very 
good film. It is a murder mystery in the best English 
tradition, which is the best. 

The story of a cad, it opens at his trial for murder. 
From there it flashes back to the series of events leading 
up to the crime, resumes the trial and runs on into a 
gaudy anti-climax. Sir Hubert Ware is penniless, and is in 
desperately hot water with his creditors. This only stimu- 
lates him to further excesses. He lies, cheats, gambles and 
makes passes at wives of other men. All this though he 
has a lovely and faithful wife, and a true and faithful 
friend naturally in love with the wife. 

Just when there seems no way out some one murders 
Sir Hubert's rich and nasty brother-in-law which solves 
all his difficulties overnight. The development and de- 
nouement are interesting and well handled. 

The director, Michael Balcon, has successfully skirted 
the many possible pitfalls to bring forth a suave, suspense- 
ful piece of entertainment. 

He is aided very considerably by Clive Brook's por- 
trayal of the likeable bounder, Sir Hubert Ware, a sound 
bit of acting; Jane Baxter as the exemplary wife; Dorothy 
Seacombe and Francis L. Sullivan. 


For lovers of the gentler treatment of murders and 

Four Feathers is the greatest misuse of the art of picture 
making seen in a long time. 

Alexander Korda, under the banner of United Artists, 
takes a capable acting company, a good director, the best 
outdoor technicolor shots to date, some of the most inter- 
esting battle scenes ever filmed and weaves them around 
a silly, outdated and "backward" story by A. E. W. 

This is the old one about the officer who resigns his 
commission on the eve of his regiment's departure for 
active service in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. 

He rationalizes his position with the only rational 
dialogue in the script. The catch is: underneath he knows 
and his friends know (clairvoyants all) that he is really 
a coward. His three fellow officers send him a white 
feather each. He drinks the bitter dregs while helping 
his fiancee give him the fourth. Then he sets out for the 
Sudan to redeem himself and the family honor. He does 
so in the most incredible series of escapades since the 
first Tarzan film. 

For a while at the beginning it looks as though this 
is meant to be a satire on the British "Officer Caste." 
Most amazingly, they are being serious. 

It develops into a genuine "tub-thumper" for British 
imperialism; the invincibility of British arms and what 
ungrateful and rebellious (and very, very villainous) 
natives might expect if they should decide to be a govern- 
ment unto themselves. 

The film is in execrable taste but has plenty of suspense 
and action. Children, and the little men who like to wear 
uniforms, should like it. 


THE SOVIET FILM achieves a validity in period ap- 
pearance, atmosphere, and spirit untouched in film- 
craft since the Nazi blanket smothered UFA. Lenin in 
1918, dated in the title is a nice example. It is the period 
of intervention in the Soviet Union; those dark days 
when every major power, including the United States, 
had troops fighting Russians on Russian soil on any or no 

Beset by enemies without and traitors within, it was a 
critical time for the Soviet power. Lenin was the tower 
of strength, humanity, and ingenuity. So he must have 
seemed, must still seem to the majority of Russian work- 
ers and peasants. He had a few trusted lieutenants but 
too many others were busy knifing the revolution in the 

After the seizure of power by a political authority the 
more precarious task of holding it is still to be faced. An 
iron hand, a ruthless attitude is necessary. Believing in 
himself, his ideals, a leader has no choice. History must 
make the hero or scoundrel of him. 

In the Soviet Union there was not only the opposition 
groups struggling for individual power, but the foreign 
interventionists as well. The political groups looking to 
the overthrow of Soviet power tried to use the foreign 
powers and became dupes instead. 

An attempt is made on Lenin's life and nearly suc- 
ceeds. His lieutenants weep and fight on. By the time 
he recovers (though these wounds were believed to have 
hastened his death) Stalin has ordered an attack that 
drives the enemy beyond the Don and we know that 
ultimate victory is his. 

The picture is exciting and well made. It has some 
faults inevitable in a partisan portrayal of history. Events 
and evidence are anticipated somewhat. The position of 


Trotsky, Bukharin, Kamenev, Zinoviev et al are placed 
in their proper (Soviet) perspective years before the 
clinching Moscow trials. Stalin seems to be brought in for 
the same " placing." 

Nevertheless the film has the feeling of authenticity and 
we may assume it is as factually accurate as the written 
history of any modern nation. 

The cast is uniformly good with Boris Shchukin creat- 
ing a Lenin that will probably build him a unique 
position in the minds of the Soviet citizens. Nikolai 
Cherkassov is a sound Maxim Gorki. The character of 
Stalin is a little underdeveloped in the light of future 

This is good entertainment for any adult and a great 
picture for those with even a mild friendship for the 
Soviet Union. 



A Promise and a Legend 

THE WEB AND THE ROCK. By Thomas Wolfe. New York: Harper & 
Brothers. 1939. 695 pages. $3.00. 

Up TO PAGE 297 this first of Mr. Wolfe's posthumous 
works retells some of the story of Look Homeward, 
Angel in terms of George Webber, alias Eugene Gant. 
The remaining 400 pages concern George's four-year 
love affair with a married woman, Mrs. Esther Jack, 
about twenty years his senior. In a prefatory note Mr. 
Wolfe said: "This novel . . . marks not only a turning 
away from the books I have written in the past, but a 
genuine spiritual and artistic change. It is the most 
objective novel that I have written. ... I have sought, 
through free creation, a release of my inventive powers." 

Mr. Wolfe deceived himself. According to the available 
evidence he underwent no basic change whatever, much 
less, indeed, than any other American novelist taken 
with the same seriousness. He neither progressed nor ret- 
rogressed. After fifteen years of writing he remained 
almost exactly where he started from: a perennial adoles- 
cent emotionally and intellectually, extremely shaky in 
his feeling for words and even more so in the matter of 
form, and generally lacking in the ability to create char- 
acter. Further, despite his Gargantuan physical appetites 
and verbosity, and despite his constant references to 
cosmic affairs, he achieved his few successes only on 
small canvases. The large portrayal of large people and 
situations escaped his grasp. 

His three novels must be described as collections of 
brief, impressionistic pieces, and his short stories, when 


BOOKS 199 

they make any sense at all, as little more than puffed-up, 
ill-digested incidents. Look Homeward, Angel contains good 
sketches of his brother Benjy, his sister Helen, and his 
father and mother, but the work as a whole arouses in- 
terest in the potentialities of the author rather than in the 
product. Of Time and the River must be put down as a 
jumble of punctuation marks, municipal catalogues, and 
geographical gazettes. It has the bigness of a runaway 
tumor, not that of a large concept beautifully executed. 

In The Web and the Rock a few things stand out: George's 
youthful dreams of an afternoon, his first impressions 
of New York City, and Esther's letter to him on the boat. 
Though not of the first magnitude, these have fine 
feeling and fair writing. But the bulk of the volume falls 
short on almost all counts. The 400-page love affair be- 
gins as an ordinary pick-up on board ship and thereafter 
progresses to its commonplace ending without a trace of 
fresh insight. Neither George nor Esther ever comes to 
life. They make love, wrangle, and make up, and all the 
time she cooks wonderful meals for him, while he com- 
plains about the cosmos, but why the older woman held 
on to him, young enough to be her son, what attracted 
them to each other in the late afternoon and in the 
usually horrendous hours between supper and bed-time 
- these things Mr. Wolfe did not make clear. 

He had the honesty to show up George as an amateur 
genius, but he did not have the artistry to explain the 
relationship which, by its very premises, must have 
contained a world of pity, beauty, and horror. Few 
situations hold more loveliness and pain than that of a 
woman, young or old, balancing her life on the smile 
of a man, and when the woman is nearly twice the man's 
age, even the angels count her tears and pray to God to 
be merciful to her. Mr. Wolfe was so engrossed in his own 


loneliness that he seldom noticed the lost looks in the 
faces of others, being particularly blind to woman's red- 
dening eyes. This blindness kept him from reaching true 

Some reviewers have remarked upon the satirical gifts 
displayed in The Web and the Rock, pointing out the on- 
slaughts upon the publishing business (as exemplified by 
the firm of Rawng and Wright) and upon literary critics 
(as exemplified by Mr. Seamus Malone) . To one reader 
these chapters belong to Mr. Wolfe's least successful 
efforts. They do not satirize their objects; they burlesque 
them. The truth about publishers and literary critics is 
so astounding that if put down simply, with proper 
selectivity, it would make hilarious and memorable read- 
ing. But Mr. Wolfe, with hardly any sense for the sneer 
between the lines, let loose with all the might of his tor- 
rential verbosity and the result boomeranged, mak- 
ing him look like a teller of tall tales rather than a skilful 

Look Homeward, Angel stirred people because it displayed 
a largesse of feeling very rare in American writers, most 
of whom worry themselves with small pangs and smaller 
yearnings. The book had faults aplenty bad writing, 
no organization, some cheapness but the massiveness 
of emotion tended to keep them in the background. Intel- 
ligent readers hoped that he would learn to write, develop 
a sense of form, and find a direction for his inner turbu- 
lence. Mr. Wolfe failed them in every subsequent book, 
and in the end began to tire them. A man jabbering 
interminably at the top of his voice that the world hurts 
him, soon or late becomes a bore. One therefore fears 
that if Mr. Wolfe lives at all, it will be as a huge promise 
unrealized and as a legend because of his personal 
traits, some of them lovable, some grotesque, and all ex- 

BOOKS 201 

traordinary. How much promise and legend count for 
in the long run can be determined by a glance at the 
footnotes in any good literary history. 


NOT PEACE BUT A SWORD. By Vincent Sheean. New York: Doubledqy, 
Dor an & Company. 367 pages. $2.75. 

In his latest survey of the European mess, Mr. Sheean lets loose 
with full force against Chamberlain, who "has consistently put the 
interests of his own class and type above those of either his own nation 
or of humanity itself." Chamberlain, of course, is not personally to 
blame, but "the Tory governing class as a whole." That class flour- 
ishes on ignorance, stupidity, and selfishness, and has kept its doors 
shut to talent and honesty for decades. 

Mr. Sheean also discusses Spain, former Austria, former Czecho- 
slovakia, Germany, and the futile Evian Conference for the settle- 
ment of the Jewish refugee problem. His purely human descriptions 
of sufferings under the Nazi heel and of the heroism of the American 
volunteers who died for Spanish liberty will long be remembered. 
His general conclusion is the following: "Upon the will and instinct 
of the proletariat reposes such hope as we are justified in retaining 
for the future progress of humanity through and beyond the conflict 
which now divides the world." 

Books in Brief: 

History and Economics 

York: The D. Appleton-Century Company. 1939. 191 pages. $1.50. 

The Sather professor of history and director of the Bancroft 
Library at the University of California here discusses the roles of 
Spain and Portugal in the general history of the two American con- 
tinents, giving special attention to the influence of Spanish missions 
and of the Jesuits. The legend that Spain was a poor colonizer, he 
says, is belied by the fact that 50,000,000 people in Central and South 
America "are tinged with Spanish blood, still speak the Spanish 
language, still worship at the altar set up by the Catholic kings, still 
live under laws essentially Spanish, and still possess a culture in- 
herited from Spain." This colonizing was done largely by Spanish 
missions, who differed greatly from missions that operated further 
North. "In the English colonies the only good Indians were dead 
Indians. In the Spanish colonies" thanks to the missions "it 
was thought worthwhile to improve the natives for this life as well 
as for the next." 

New York: Doubledqy, Doran & Company. 1939. 275 pages. $3.50. 

Not Bermuda, but Iceland, would seem to be entitled to be called 
a little bit of Paradise. It has no steep gradations of economic status, 
the death rate is one of the lowest in the world, land is plentiful, and 
the general culture of the people is very high. Mr. Stefansson cov- 
ers every aspect of Icelandic life, historical, political, economic, 
scientific, and literary, and, as usual, his discussion is simple and 
lively. There are many illustrations, and also a bibliography. 

SOUTH AMERICAN PRIMER. By Katherine Can. New York: Reynal & 
Hitchcock. 1939. 208 pages. $1.75. 

Miss Carr has illuminatingly sketched the history of the ten South 
American Republics, concisely presenting their problems and fear- 
lessly handling the subject of their unfriendly and suspicious attitude 
toward the United States. While she does not believe that either Nazi 



or Fascist schemes for control of South America are really dangerous, 
she finds a menace in Franco's Spain with its program for the repos- 
session of Spain's lost colonies. But she is convinced that with the 
United States awake and alive to the need of befriending real 
Democracy in South America, there is no European menace that we 
or the Latin Americans have to fear. 

Veblen. New York: The Viking Press. 1939. 343 pages. $3.00. 

First published in 1915, this excellent book, by the most brilliant 
economist America has yet produced, is now issued in a second edi- 
tion for the most obvious of all reasons: what it says about Imperial 
Germany is in the main just as true of Hitler Germany. The German 
government still seeks to be self-contained, a policy which "unavoid- 
ably lowers the industrial efficiency of the nation." The German state 
still seeks "a place in the sun," but "the inhabitants, individually or 
collectively, have no material interest in this quest." Dr. Joseph 
Dorfman contributes an illuminating introduction. 

JOURNEY TO A WAR. By W. H. Auden and Christopher Isherwood. New 
York: Random House. 1939. 301 pages. $3.00. 

The war to which Messrs. Auden and Isherwood journeyed is 
the war in China and their book records a four months' visit to 
China made at the beginning of last year. What makes it so different 
from a hundred others of the moment is that it avoids omniscience 
and brilliantly records first impressions. No inside information 
they merely used their eyes and ears. They wrote as they went, Auden 
his sonnets, Isherwood his travel diary, which takes up most of the 
book and is extraordinarily vivid. Everywhere they went they were 
bewildered by the eccentricities of the Chinese warfare green 
horses which turned out to be white ones camouflaged against air- 
craft, big guns unused so that Japanese "wouldn't know that we've 
got them" which soon became submerged in the oddity of China 
as a whole. They did not bother to bring home "the truth about 
China." They were much more concerned with chipping at the 
friendly resistance of the Chinese character: the inscrutable grin that 
might hide suffering as well as mockery, the immutable logic of 
seemingly topsy-turvey behavior pattern. Between them they have 
written a book of sublimated reportage which one reads greedily. 



THE HEROES. By Milieu Brand. New York: Simon & Schuster. 1939. 
336 pages. $2.00. 

This is the tale of a one-armed veteran, who is dragged out of his 
despair by the love of a woman. George and Mary are their names. 
Unfortunately, little more can be said about the book. It is full of 
bathos, petty imagination, and very bad writing. The dialogue is 
particularly uninspired. 

ADVENTURES OF A YOUNG MAN. By John Dos Passos. New York: Har- 
court, Brace & Company. 1939. 322 pages. $2.50. 

Glen Spotswood is a young man of Dos Passes' generation, or 
perhaps a bit younger. The depression hits him, and he thinks that 
the solution for most things lies in the Communist Party. Gradually, 
after experiences in strikes and in committees, he begins to doubt 
the Communist Gospel according to Stalin and Browder, and he ends 
up in bewilderment. Mr. Dos Passos is fairly successful with Glen's 
early years, but becomes somewhat too angry at the end to be 
artistically convincing. His Glen probably represents the majority 
of radical opinion today, and one can only hope that Mr. Dos 
Passos tackles him again, for Glen badly needs a spokesman. 


nard Baker. New York: Doubleday, Doran & Company. 1939. 626 pages. 

This forms the eighth and final volume in Mr. Baker's biography 
of the War President. It deals roughly with the period between 
March 1 and November 11, 1918, and in the main is composed of 
letters and memoranda to and from Mr. Wilson. The book, though 
something of a catalogue, makes very fascinating reading. For one 
thing, it sheds new light upon many important historical matters 
of the first magnitude, in particular upon our participation in the 
dubious Siberian adventure. It now seems that the President was by 
no means sure of what he was doing, and finally gave in to an 
American Expeditionary Force to the Far East only under great 


pressure. For another thing, the present book clarifies Mr. Wilson's 
personality. Far from being a dour Presbyterian, he apparently was a 
model of kindness, charity, and understanding. Finally, the volume 
gives evidence of the enormous amount of work accomplished in the 
White House. Besides directing the greatest war which this country 
had waged till his time, Mr. Wilson had to placate innumerable 
nuisances at home, official and otherwise. Not one of them seemed to 
have fooled him, but he was always polite, writing long letters of ex- 
planation and apology to men and women, many of whom had 
no business bothering him. The many illustrations and the excellent 
index add to the value of the volume. 

RICHARD ALSOP. By Karl P. Harrington. Middletown, Conn.: The Matta- 
besett Press. 1939. 142 pages. 

The subject of this painstaking biography lived in the years 1761- 
1815, and belonged to the Hartford Wits, a group of poets who flour- 
ished for about three decades after the Revolution. He is forgotten 
now, and rightly so, for he had small talent even for those days. 
Mr. Harrington has unearthed some new material about him, and 
writes about him with exuberance, but his book will interest only 
local historians. The book is limited to 300 copies. 


THE SECRET OF CHILDHOOD. By Maria Montessori. New York: The 
Frederick A. Stokes Company. 1939. 286 pages. $2.50. 

In this new book the celebrated Italian educator summarizes her 
basic theories, but pays special attention to the role of childhood in 
an adult world. She castigates grown-ups for their thoughtlessness to 
the needs and dreams of the young. "Society abandons the child," 
she says,"without feeling the smallest responsibility, to the care of his 
family, and the family, for its part, gives up the child to society 
which shuts him in school, isolating him from all family control. 
. . . For the child the school has been a place of more than natural 
woe. Those big buildings seem made for a host of grown-up people, 
and everything is proportionate to the adult, the windows, the doors, 
the gray corridors, the bare, blank walls." The translation and edit- 
ing is by Barbara Barclay Carter. 


You AND HEREDITY. By Amram Scheinfeld. New Tork: The Frederick A. 
Stokes Company. 1939. 434 pages. $3.00. 

Everything the layman wants to know about the inheritance of 
physical and mental characteristics seems to be in this volume. A 
special section devoted to the inheritance of musical talent adds to the 
interest of the book, which is very clearly and interestingly written 
throughout. Dr. Morton D. Schweitzer, research geneticist at the 
Cornell University Medical College, assisted in the genetic sections. 
There are four excellent color plates and seventy-five drawings, maps, 
and diagrams. A good bibliography and index are appended. 

THE ANSWER. The Jew and the World: Past, Present and Future. By 
Ludwig Lewisohn. New Tork: Liveright Publishing Corp. 1939. 342 
pages. $2.00. 

Mr. Lewisohn, an ardent Zionist, has dealt with the problems 
confronting the Jews in many books, fictional and otherwise. This 
time the question is a concentrated one: "Israel is fighting for its life. 
How is it to be saved?" His thesis, namely that racial amalgamation 
means the negation of the group-soul and of Jewish culture, leads 
naturally into the belief of a homeland, Palestine, as a solution. He 
warns Jews that the fulfilment and greater realization of their own 
political, religious and cultural philosophies can come only by 
clinging steadfastly to them, and hence they must abandon the 
"servile assimilation" which they have hitherto practiced. 

ENEMIES OF PROMISE. By Cyril Connolly. Boston: Little, Brown & Com- 
pany. 1939. 340 pages. $2.75. 

Mr. Connolly is the able young Englishman who writes excellent 
literary criticism for the New Statesman and Nation. In the present 
book he discusses nearly all the chief writers of the last two decades, 
and also has much to say of value about the lot and prospects of the 
artist. Invariably he betrays a vigorous style and a full knowledge, 
not only of the written word, but of the agony and the exhilaration 
behind it. Some samples of his insights: "If, as Dr. Johnson said, a 
man who is not married is only half a man, so a man who is very 
much married is only half a writer. . . . The health of a writer 
should not be too good, and only perfect in those periods of con- 
valescence when he is not writing. . . . A preoccupation with sex is a 


substitute for artistic creation, a writer works best at an interval from 
an unhappy love-affair, or after his happiness has been secured 
by one more fortunate. . . . Every writer should . . . find some 
way, however dishonest, of procuring about 400 [pounds] a year 
with the minimum of effort. Otherwise he will become a popular 
success, or be miserable." 

CANNIBAL CARAVAN. By Charles "Cannibal" Miller. New York: Lee 
Furman, Inc. 1939. 318 pages. $2.75. 

This is a noteworthy travel narrative for at least three reasons. 
It deals with Dutch New Guinea, a fantastic country penetrated by 
few white men; it is brutally realistic in its description of the natives 
and their customs, and, above all, its author is an explorer who 
doesn't take himself too seriously. To Mr. Miller, cannibals are as 
funny as they are shocking, as companionable as they are vicious. 
He was born among them the first white child raised in Dutch 
New Guinea. L. L. Stevenson's introduction traces Miller's back- 
ground as a jungle wanderer, World War aviator, auto and boat 
racer and Hollywood cameraman. When a society girl, Miss Leona 
Jay, announced her intention to seek adventure in the jungles of 
Dutch New Guinea, Miller offered his services. By the time the ex- 
pedition started, he had married his backer. When they returned to 
civilization, they had fought off savages, participated in a headhunt, 
witnessed scenes of unparalleled brutality and encountered beasts, 
both human and animal, of the most fantastic description. 


which is England's favorite literary magazine 

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Every week in The Saturday Review of Literature sound reviews 
of the new books by seasoned critics, as well as entertaining 
and informative literary articles. 

+ Coming in + 

Scientific Literature in the Comic Strip 
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Edward Lear, Lewis Carroll and the Humanists 
by George Dangerfield 

Man's Humanity to Man 
by Irwin Edman 



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Table of Contents 


SHOULD CANADA JOIN PAN AMERICA ? . . Horace Donald Crawford 219 

BENEFIT FOR THE SEAMEN [Dramatic Satire] . . Charles Angqff 234 


EIGHTY YEARS Maud Howe Elliott 244 

WHY i BELIEVE IN AMERICA Wendell L. Willkie 259 

ESCAPE SOUTHWARD Arthur Herman Wilson 265 



PINOCCHIO ON THE DOLE . . . Grace Adams & Edward Hutter 307 

DEFEAT DEFERRED [.S/0r}>] Richard Warren 323 

ROBERT H. JACKSON Karl Schriftgiesser 334 

A MATTER OF CHARACTER [Story] Allan Angof 345 



ART Christopher Lazare 394 

DRAMA Charles Angof 401 

BOOKS . 407 

The NORTH AMERICAN REVIEW: Published quarterly by The North American Review Corporation. 
Publication office, Rumford Building. Concord, N. H. Editorial and executive office, 420 Madison 
Avenue, New York. N. Y. Price $1.00 a copy; $4.00 per year; Canada. $4.25; foreign countries, $4.50. 
Entered as second-class matter Dec. 18, 1 920, at the post office at Concord, N. H., under Act of Congress 
of March 3, 1879. 

Copyright, 1939, by The North American Review Corporation: Joseph Hilton Smyth, President; 
John Pell, Treasurer; David M. Figart, Secretary. 

Title registered U. S. Patent Office. 

Fletcher Pratt's 


"A dramatic story as exciting as a 
novel . . . yet which carries the un- 
deniable stamp of authentic research 
and profound and original thought. 


... to be read by everyone desiring 
an up-to-date description of modern 
sea-power and what it means in the 
present war." Our Navy 

"The most popular up-to-date survey of its kind." New York Times 

"A more timely book cannot be imagined. Mr. Pratt's book is required 
reading for every thoughtful American citizen interested in the safety 
of his own country." Commander Edward Ellsberg in The Saturday 
Review $3.00 

By Simon Haxey 


America has her "Sixty Families" 
England has her Tory M.P.'s. 
Here is the sensational record of 
how Britain's Conservative oli- 
garchy dictates foreign policy by 
its control of British industry and 




by Ernest Griffith 

"A thoughtful and scholarly book, 
highly significant." Book of the 
Month Club News 

"Profitable reading for anyone 
generally interested in the prob- 
lems of American government." 

Washington Star 




by William Geoffrey 

re is a collection of choice passages on this tender and difficult passion. Gathered from 
prose and verse of all ages, from Plato to Dorothy Parker, this anthology shows love 
all its aspects: comic, pure, dramatic, doleful, philosophical and wicked. The perfect 
; between man and maid, husband and wife. The lonely or determined bachelor will 
Dice in its beauty and the bachelor girl will sigh over hope deferred. Its floral chintz 
ding will set the most confirmed misogynist to dreaming. 

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by Harriet Rutland " Ver v fine and evil as anything. 11 

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^ bargain, if there ever was one." right impressiveness." New York 

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Novel of the W.P.A. Years 


The first book to tell the story of New York's Bohemia on the Federal 
Writers' Project; of Gordon and Sonya for whom love might have been 
enough but wasn't/ of cheap liquor and despair/ of hunger and ultimate 

"A novel of sensitive beauty and power . . . charged with poetry of 
feeling and impression, of sharp and delicate insight" The Saturday 
Review of Literature $2.50 

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Contributors' Column 

The fiftieth anniversary of the Pan American Union approaches, and 
discussion of Canada's membership will again be of timely impor- 
tance. HORACE DONALD CRAWFORD is a free lance writer who has 
interested himself in this question. He is the director of journalism at 
Franklin College, Franklin, Indiana. 

MAUD HOWE ELLIOTT was born in 1854 the daughter of Julia Ward 
Howe, and, as is evident from the article in this issue, her long life has 
been a colorful one. Married to John Elliott, her career developed 
along with his. She has had published a good many books, most of 
them biographies or personal narratives. In 1917 she was awarded 
with Julia E. Richards the Pulitzer Prize for The Life of Julia Ward 
Howe. She has been decorated with the Golden Cross of the Re- 
deemer (Greek), and is honorary president of the Society of the Four 
Arts (Palm Beach) . Her last book Uncle Sam Ward and His Circle, was 
published in 1938. 

The well known businessman who is president of the Commonwealth 
and Southern Corporation is also a distinguished lawyer. WENDELL 
L. WILLKIE commenced law practice in 1916 when he was admitted 
to the Indiana Bar. He is chairman of the board and a director of 
Consumers Power Co., and a director of the Southern Indiana Gas 
and Electric Co., of Central, Illinois. Mr. Willkie is now a member 
of the bar of New York City. 

For the last eight years ARTHUR HERMAN WILSON has been a professor 
of American and English literature, and he is the Chairman of the 
Department of English at Susquehanna University. He is the director 
of the summer school of that institution and editor of its faculty's 
journal of research articles. In 1935 he had published a book called 
A History of the Philadelphia Theatre, 1835 to 1855. 

fore, when he wrote about the impression made by America on 
foreigners. He was prominent in Czecho-Slovakian affairs under 
Masaryk, but is now an American citizen. Mr. Pergler practices law 
in Washington, D. C. 


The sketch on Robert Jackson is the third that KARL SCHRIFTGIESSER 
has written for us. There are rumors in Washington that, if Frank 
Murphy goes to the Supreme Court, Jackson will be made Attorney 
General. So information on this colorful figure is doubly interesting. 

GRACE ADAMS' book, Workers on Relief, has just recently been pub- 
lished. Much research went into the book which is primarily con- 
cerned with personal cases. "Pinocchio on the Dole" is a by-product. 
EDWARD HUTTER has written extensively for the magazines on social 
and psychological problems. 

The former journalist RICHARD WARREN has appeared before in this 
magazine. He has been free lancing for some years. 

ALLAN ANGOFF was born in Boston and graduated from Boston Uni- 
versity. He has worked on Boston and New York newspapers. He was 
a contributing editor of The World Over: 1938 and is serving in the 
same capacity for The World Over: 1939. "A Matter of Character" is 
his first published story. 

For six years FRANK N. TRACER was an instructor in philosophy at 
Johns Hopkins University. He soon branched off into labor problems 
and was with the Labor Relations Division of the Resettlement Ad- 
ministration. Last year he conducted a column on labor relations in 
Social Frontier. His articles on world affairs, economics and politics 
have been published widely, in the Socialist Review and elsewhere. He 
is now the director of Radio Book Service. 

THOMAS D. HORTON is a nom de plume. 

EARL HENDLER is a graduate of Rutgers. His poetry has been pub- 
lished in that school's The Antho and in Literary America. 

MARY N. S. WHITELEY has had her poems appear in Poetry and 

FRANCES FROST is a well-known poet, and her novel brought success. 

CHARLES EDWARD EATON is now at Harvard working on his Ph.D., a 
student of Robert Frost and Robert Hillyer. 

AVRETT and PAUL BARTLETT are all making their marks in literature, 
deservingly, to judge from each's verse as represented here. 



| Cfouxn 



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l^V These are some of the contributors to the January Anniversary iV 

H Issue. Its theme will be "Looking Forward" Its array of & 

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5 in the history of American publishing. ^ 



25th Anniversary Issue 



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Quarterly Comment 


UP TO THE ACTUAL OUTBREAK of the current, the thirty- 
second, European war the attitude of the average man in 
the street regarding an eventual American participation 
in the fray was defeatist. The majority wanted to keep 
out, but at the same time, according to the Gallup Poll of 
last July, most of that same majority "feared America 
might be drawn into the war." 

In many responsible quarters that fear still exists. Why? 

For one thing, there is an alarming repetition of cer- 
tain set cliches that were used to marked effect in this 
country a quarter of a century ago. When one attempts 
to run down the basis of these fears one finds that they 
rest in certain mass beliefs, beliefs so firmly planted in the 
public mind that to question any one of them is like 
questioning Christianity itself. 

First of all, there is the theory that England in some 
manner is fighting America's war. America's first line of 
defense, we are repeatedly assured, is the British navy. 

If we ask defense against what, we are told (1) defense 
against attack and (2) defense of our foreign trade. 

If this type of argument does not sway us, we are re- 
minded that the war is really not over economic issues, 
but rather for the survival of decency and democracy. 

That is what we were told twenty-five years ago. That 
is what we are being told today. 



Suppose, however, in the light of our experiences 
twenty-five years ago we survey, as cold-bloodedly as 
possible, the facts. Suppose we try to discover just what, 
if anything, the present war means to us, and what we 
will profit or lose on the outcome, whatever it may be. 
Let us forget for the moment the myth of England's high 
idealism, and get down to bedrock. Let us forget the 
bitter repugnance with which we, as free Americans, 
view the governments and leaders of Russia and Ger- 

We have viewed other leaders and other govern- 
ments with equal disfavor in the past. But within the 
borders of our own United States, the Governor of one 
state may look with justified scorn on the political meth- 
ods prevailing in a neighboring state. Not since the Civil 
War have we gone to war as a result, however. 

Indeed, certain political historians maintain that 
people get the kind of government they deserve. Be that 
as it may, it is not our place to decide which of a group of 
nations with pointedly similar ideas of world power 
should dominate Europe. 

It is at this point that we are usually reminded that 
once the gangster hordes of Hitler and Stalin have con- 
quered Europe, the next step will be the invasion of 

The more hysterical of our war-mongers envisage an 
actual physical invasion of our shores. Others, more com- 
mercially and practically minded, speak of an invasion of 
our world-wide interests. 

Let us dispense with the dangers of an armed invasion 
first. Let us consider briefly the state of belligerent na- 
tions at the close of a long drawn-out war. Both the con- 
querors and the conquered are in a state of collapse; and 
that exhaustion extends to every phase of national life. 


One has only to look back twenty years ago to the close 
of the first World War to discover how little tangible 
strength remains even to victorious nations. Following 
November llth, 1918, the allied armies were in no posi- 
tion, either physically or from the standpoint of morale, 
to engage in any new, stupendous attempt at conquest, 
particularly any attempt that entailed the sending of 
forces overseas. 

Nevertheless, certain of our domestic interventionists 
pointedly remind us that 1939 is not 1918. They cite the 
new military weapons that have been perfected in the 
past decade, particularly the bombers. We must help 
Britain and France with all our resources if necessary, we 
are told, because in so doing we are actually defending 
our own territory. If we let them down, allowing the 
Nazi hordes to trample them, we will be so much the 
weaker when Hitler attacks us. Upholders of this view- 
point even talk about New York and other cities being 
destroyed by huge bombers, and the extreme interven- 
tionists have even thought about the possibility of a 
German expeditionary force landing in either Canada or 
Mexico for the ultimate purpose of attacking the United 

This, obviously, is a discussion for military experts. 
However, it might here be pertinent to cite briefly several 
experts. It was Rear Admiral Cook who told a United 
States Senate committee, "I do not think any fleet could 
ever make landing in effective force on our coast, whether 
we had a navy or not, provided there are enough shore- 
based aircraft available. ... I do not think any think- 
ing person ever feels that any nation can successfully 
invade our country leaving out aircraft or anything 

The head of the American fleet during the last war, 


Admiral William S. Sims, had this to say: u No foreign 
power or group of powers can operate across the ocean 
and stand in combat with the American Navy and 
planes operating from home bases." Admiral Yarnell, 
who knows Asiatic waters and the Japanese naval 
strength well, has said that Japan, which still has a much 
smaller fleet than the United States, would need one 
double the size of the present American fleet to hope for 
any success in a battle with the Americans. Admiral 
Leahy, the former Chief of Naval Operations, told Con- 
gress the same thing, and Rear Admiral W. W. Phelps 
has said that "there is no possibility ever of any hostile 
attack on either of our coasts." 

For those who still have fears, it must be added that 
armies would have to come here with more than men; 
they would have to come equipped with rifles, machine 
guns, tanks, cannon, barges, cranes, all kinds of ammuni- 
tion and thousands of tons of other essential supplies. 
During the world war we tried to land 50,000 tons of 
supplies daily in France. That was considered essential 
to the A.E.F. But we were never able to land more than 
25,000 tons. All of which seems to prove that General 
Smedley Butler was not so far wrong when he said that 
there aren't enough ships in all the world to bring to the 
shores of the United States enough men and supplies 
seriously to menace the United States. 

The fear of attack from the air is always brought up 
when arguments for huge defenses and intervention like 
those we have already cited fail to convince the skeptical. 
Here again such experts as Major George Fielding Eliot, 
General Hagood and others say that our fears are ground- 

Of course a few planes could drop bombs on some of 
our coastal cities, but what aggressor nation would 


undertake the job? Such bombs might do some damage, 
but would in no way attain any enemy objectives, and 
the few bombs dropped would be at enormous expense to 
the would-be aggressors. 

An airplane has a limited range of activity, and after 
that it must return to its home base for fuel and supplies. 
This range is at present said to be about 3,000 miles, 
which means that if enemy bombers could take off from 
carriers at sea, they would have to be at least 1,500 miles 
from the United States coast. There is no reason to expect 
that those carriers would be permitted to stay that close 
to our shores unmolested by our own navy, but even 
assuming that, the fact remains, as Major Eliot has said 
regarding an attack on New York, "the number of planes 
required for continuity of effort rises to astronomical 
figures." And unless there is "continuity of effort," which 
means enormous expense, there can be no possibility of 
anything approaching serious damage by planes drop- 
ping bombs. We are, therefore, says Major Eliot, "im- 
mune from direct attack by the weapons of the air. . . ." 

IT SEEMS TO BE ACCEPTED generally that England's vic- 
tory in the present war will not only insure the continu- 
ance of America's foreign trade, but will at the same time 
in some mysterious manner make that continuance a 
profitable one. Conversely, it is argued that Great Brit- 
ain's defeat will seriously embarrass America's economic 

Just how much basis of fact is there in this reasoning? 
How much does our foreign trade depend on Great 
Britain's remaining mistress of the seas? 

Just as the technique of modern warfare has changed 
radically, so has the technique of acquiring and main- 
taining foreign trade relations. Hitherto, force that is. 


armed power has played a major part in foreign 
trade. It was force that blasted wide the Open Door in 
the Far East, and force that kept it open. Today that is 
not true. Presupposing that a peace was possible tomor- 
row, with Great Britain emerging once again victorious, 
there is nothing to stop Germany's continuing to barter 
and trade in blocked marks, Japan's continuing to under- 
sell us in South America, and Great Britain's trying by 
every means within her power to regain her lost foreign 
markets. Just as man-power alone is no longer the de- 
ciding factor in modern warfare, so control of the seas in 
peacetime is no longer a deciding factor in foreign 

Exactly how important is this foreign trade anyway? 
In the most prosperous as well as disastrous year in 
American history, 1929, our foreign trade represented 
less than ten percent of our national income. 1917, a war 
year with exports at an incredible high, with every fac- 
tory and industry in the country running almost con- 
tinuously, with farm products finding ready markets at 
high prices, was certainly an exception, but even that 
year foreign trade accounted for only twelve percent of 
our national income. Today our foreign trade hovers 
around five percent. Up until the outbreak of the current 
war it was headed slowly downward. That downward 
trend has ceased, and there is now some increase, but 
even the most enthusiastic of foreign trade experts have 
as yet made no claim about the coming war boom ab- 
sorbing ten or twelve million unemployed. 

There are other, even more pertinent, facts which 
should not be overlooked in discussing our foreign trade 
and its relationship in European affairs. Europe once 
accounted for almost three-quarters of all our foreign 
trade. Today that trade has shrunk to forty percent. In 


the meantime Canada and Newfoundland account for 
thirty-two percent of our foreign trade. Latin America, 
with its twenty separate nations and hundred million 
people, in 1938 provided us with twenty-three percent of 
our imports and absorbed but sixteen percent of our 

Thus it seems fairly obvious that if more United 
States' energy than is now being used were expended in 
increasing the tremendous potentialities of Latin Ameri- 
can trade, our European trade would become of negligi- 
ble importance. Too negligible, at any rate, to go to war 

One other important factor is consistently overlooked 
in any discussion of foreign trade with Europe. That is the 
hard fact that most of the great nations of the world, 
including the peace-loving "democracies," have during 
the past decade lagged not so far behind Hitler and 
Mussolini in attempting to achieve self-sufficiency. Most 
European nations intend, in normal times, to import 
from the United States as few American products as 
their economies will allow. Nations heretofore largely 
agricultural are or were, until the outbreak of the 
current war becoming more and more industrialized 
without sacrificing greatly their agriculture. This means 
that inevitably the United States will be forced to read- 
just its program and expectations of future foreign trade 
with Europe. It might be just as well to begin to plan 

Nevertheless, a sizable group of economists are today 
repeating in magazine articles and pamphlets many of 
the same arguments advanced in 1917: that a continued 
neutrality is an economic liability and danger; that for- 
eign trade must be protected at all costs, even if that 
cost is war. 


Certainly it would seem unwise to base any plan for a 
future prosperity on a foreign trade maintained by armed 
force. And in the long run it is obviously too expensive, 
as British taxpayers, high and low, have found to their 

IF, THEREFORE, WE REMAIN ALOOF from this current 
European war because we feel that neither our territory 
nor our trade are sufficiently in danger, what then of our 
so-called " moral" obligations? Whenever there is a war 
in any part of the world, a sizable and familiar group of 
partisans always appears to tell America that she too is in 
danger, that Western civilization is threatened, that 
democracy is at stake, that we cannot be selfish, and that 
we must not stand idly by, that there are some things 
more important than life itself. We heard it regarding 
Spain, and Ethiopia, and China. What were formerly 
isolated voices have now become a resounding communal 

In the first weeks of the present war, Bishop Manning 
of New York told his congregation at the Cathedral of 
St. John the Divine that "our sympathies, our moral 
support and whatever aid we can rightly give at this 
time must be with those who at untold cost to them- 
selves are upholding the principles and ideals of human 
life in which we believe." The Bishop then went on to 
say that " supreme moral and spiritual issues" were at 
stake and "it is not only justifiable but our bounden duty 
to use force for the restraint of the wrongdoer. . . . We 
all want peace, but right is more important than peace. 
. . . The issues in this war affect vitally the future of 
practically all peoples throughout the world and they 
directly affect our life and future as a nation. . . . The 
world is threatened with something far more terrible 


than was ever threatened by Genghis Khan or any 
world conqueror. The issue is as to whether totalitarian- 
ism with its barbarous and inhuman despotism, its 
anti-God philosophy, and its declared war on Christian- 
ity, is now to dominate the world and shape the lives of 


These phrases have a faintly and uncomfortably 
familiar ring. They sound, in fact, like the Spring of 1917 
when, on March llth, "War Sunday" was celebrated, 
and in flag-draped pulpits the pastors of New York, men 
of peace, sounded the call to arms. 

The technique of arousing and stimulating neutral 
sympathies has not changed in twenty-five years. To 
speak of the "spiritual issues" at stake in Europe today is 
on a par with discussing the "spiritual" difference be- 
tween rape and seduction. It is an over-simplification to 
blame the current European embroglio on Hitlerism. 
Yet that is precisely what is being done, and will continue 
to be done, day in and day out, by the non-neutral 
Anglophiles who failed to learn from the experience of 
the first World War. 

It is well to remember the propaganda by which 
American aid was enlisted in the previous World War. 
The idea that that war was a holy war, a struggle of vir- 
tue versus iniquity, proved extremely efficacious, as 
everybody now knows. 

But it is even more to the point to recall that just a 
month before we entered the last World War, Ambassa- 
dor Walter Hines Page said, "Perhaps our going to war 
is the only way in which our pre-eminent trade position 
can be maintained and a panic averted." 

But our pre-eminent trade position wasn't main- 

Nor was a panic averted. Rather, within three years of 


the World War's closing we had the panic of 1921-22, 
to be followed less than a decade later by the biggest, 
the most tragic and long drawn out panic in American 

Already we know the cost of engaging in a European 
war. But we are still paying the cost of Europe's last 


The Value of a Canadian-American Axis 

Should Canada Join 
Pan America? 


WAR-SCARES EMANATING in twinge after twinge from 
political nerve centers of Europe and Asia make us 
appreciate as never before the harmony and peace among 
nations of North, Central and South America. Border 
lines bristling with armaments beyond the Atlantic and 
Pacific make us realize the advantages of living in a part 
of the world where international boundaries are simply 
legal lines between friendly neighbors. Failures of the 
League of Nations to settle disputes in Europe make us 
keenly aware that for half a century there has been de- 
veloping in the Western Hemisphere a cooperative inter- 
national organization devoted to helping peoples of all 
American nations increase their commerce, industry, 
agriculture and creative arts, and their understanding 
and appreciation of one another. 

In its fiftieth anniversary year, the Pan American 
Union is stronger and more highly respected than at any 
time in its interesting history. We can look upon it today 
as the world's most successful experiment in cooperative 

Why does our neighbor to the North, Canada, remain 
a non-member of this Pan American movement? 

I asked that question in interviews with high officials in 



Washington and Ottawa. Others have asked it at various 
times. Statesmen, professors and occasionally writers 
have discussed its pros and cons, but no one has trans- 
lated the idea into positive action. 

At the 1939 conference on Canadian- American Affairs 
held last June at Canton, N. Y., the issue was debated 
anew. Excerpts from arguments presented give an idea 
of the varied sentiments still persisting on the subject: 

"Canada should immediately join the Pan American 

"It is the first time in American history that the best 
minds and hearts of this country are united on the vital 
question of national security." 

"Canada might join the Union if the United States 
moves toward the center of world affairs, but she will not 
do so as a gesture toward isolation." 

"Canada's interests in South America compete with 
those of the United States and she does not need the Pan 
American Union to further them." 

Senator Elbert D. Thomas of Utah raised the question 
directly: "Why cannot Canada bend a little and partici- 
pate in one of the greatest friendly developments between 
nations the world has seen?" he asked. "Why should 
Canada not become a party to our Pan American trea- 
ties? Canada benefits indirectly from the deliberations of 
the Pan American Union. Why does she not occupy the 
chair reserved for her?" 

So certain were officials of the Pan American Union 
thirty years ago that the Dominion would soon become a 
member that Canada's coat of arms was built into the 
Pan American Building in Washington. But after all this 
time, Canada's policy still adheres to a laissez jaire atti- 
tude, matched by a similar let-George-start-it policy on 
the part of Pan American nations. 


JOHN BARRETT, FORMER director general of the Pan 
American Union, believed that all obstacles to Canada's 
membership were removed in 1926 when Canada for the 
first time appointed a minister to the United States. At a 
Pan American Commercial Congress in New York, Bar- 
rett raised this question: "Will the United States and the 
twenty Governments of Latin America, now forming the 
Pan American Union at Washington, invite Canada to 
join this union, which is practically a Pan American or 
Western Hemisphere League of Nations?" 

Mr. Barrett explained that at the time the Pan Ameri- 
can building was erected in Washington he suggested to 
Elihu Root, then secretary of state and chairman, ex 
officio, of the Governing Board of the Pan American 
Union, that "we should look into the future and consider 
the entrance of Canada into the Union and so prepare 
decorations and wordings which could not be easily 
changed later on. After consideration and consultation 
not only with President (Theodore) Roosevelt, but with 
eminent Latin American statesmen, he instructed me, 
first, to place the escutcheon of Canada in the patio or 
court alongside those of the United States and the other 
American countries; second, to include a Canadian panel 
in the bronze frieze of the Governing Board room and, 
third, to have made a chair carrying the name 'Canada 5 
for the Governing Board or Council Table." 

You can stand today in the palm-filled patio, listening 
to the bright-plumaged and strutting macaws squawk 
their greetings, and see Canada's escutcheon tiled into 
the patio wall. Old timers about the Union building will 
tell you they think "Canada's chair is stored away some- 

I went to the spacious Canadian embassy in Washing- 
ton and talked at some length with Sir Herbert Marler, 


Canadian minister to the United States. Sir Herbert is a 
large man, polite and genial. He told me he had been in 
Washington for twenty-one years. He explained that 
Canada's first embassy had been the one at Washington, 
but since then others were opened at London, Paris and 

Sir Herbert had just received from Ottawa the latest 
statement by Prime Minister Mackenzie King regarding 
the Canadian government's attitude toward Canada's 
relations with the Pan American Union. I had been in- 
formed previously in Ottawa that the Prime Minister 
would make such a statement before Parliament. Sir 
Herbert was hesitant to add anything to Mr. King's 
views, but kindly invited me to copy the Prime Minister's 
words from the official record. Sir Herbert did inform me, 
however, that Canada's connection with the British Em- 
pire was no obstacle to his government's willingness to 
become a member of the Pan American Union. 

Officials at the Pan American Union and at the United 
States State Department told me that Prime Minister 
King's statement, made before the House of Commons 
at Ottawa on March 30, 1939, was the best and most 
complete summary of the situation in existence. I take 
the liberty, therefore, of giving you Mr. King's direct 

In these times of lessening distances, between continents as well as 
countries, there is a larger America in which Canadians are becoming 
increasingly interested. During recent months it was in fact suggested 
in many quarters that Canada should be represented at the eighth 
international conference of American states, held at Lima, Peru, in 
December. I can assure the house that the government shares the 
view of the importance of our relations with the score of other na- 
tions which have become established in this Western Hemisphere. 
On geographical grounds alone, we could not be uninterested in de- 
velopments affecting their welfare and security. We realize that in 


many cases these peoples are facing problems similar to those that 
Canadians have to meet, and that the solutions they have found, or 
are striving for, have significance for us. In the economic field, our 
trade relations are important and are capable of extensive increase. 

So far as the specific suggestion of participation in the Lima con- 
ference is concerned, I may recall that we are not a member of the 
Pan American Union, and consequently could not have been invited 
to attend, since in accordance with established rules, the President of 
Peru sent invitations only to members of the Union. Moreover, as 
honorable members are aware, Canada could not become a member 
of the Pan American Union unless and until the constitution of that 
body was altered, since at present its membership is restricted to 
"American republics." . . . 

There are, however, somewhat technical considerations. It would 
be possible to propose or have a friendly member propose that the 
necessary adjustments should be made in the constitution and pro- 
cedure of the Union to make our membership possible. Public opin- 
ion in favor of some such course has undoubtedly increased in recent 
years. I do not, however, consider that it has yet become sufficiently 
widespread, or sufficiently informed and matured, to warrant imme- 
diate steps in that direction. It is a possibility which should be given 
consideration in the future, along with other means, trade and gov- 
ernmental, of bringing about closer relationships between our 
country and those countries which are destined to play an increas- 
ingly significant part in the world's affairs. 

Mr. King's official interpretation of Canada's status 
regarding the Pan American Union deserves a close analy- 
sis, because it concerns the future relationships of ap- 
proximately 250,000,000 people on the American conti- 

CANADIANS ARE COMPELLED by circumstances of the times 
to concern themselves more and more with international 
affairs. Geographical location (Canada is Western 
Europe's shortest route to the Orient) causes Canadians 
to peer anxiously through both their Atlantic and Pacific 
windows. They are being bombarded with Fascist and 


Communist propaganda, along with the Pan American 
nations. Canada, like the United States, has two vast 
coast lines to consider and defend. Like her southern 
neighbor, Canada has a Japanese population problem in 
the West. Like all the republics of the Americas, Canada 
is realizing that as a nation approaches democratic free- 
dom and independence it must assume new responsibili- 
ties especially those of international relations. 

Canada is a comparatively new nation. Her confedera- 
tion of provinces did not take place until after our Civil 
War terminated. Even today her nine provinces stretch 
only along her southern half. Much of her great north- 
land remains uncharted, almost unexplored, territory. 
Her entire population totals only that of the combined 
cities of New York and Chicago, and these people are 
scattered over a nation larger in area than the United 

Canada has suffered severely during the depression. 
Unemployment has been great in a nation whose chief 
wealth is its unexploited natural resources. Canada is by 
necessity becoming trade conscious, and in this regard, 
too, opportunities lie southward. And Canadians are 
wondering about Canada's foreign relations. Could she 
defend herself? Would the United States defend her? 

Canadians, like all peoples of the Western Hemisphere, 
are waking up to the fact that the destinies of the Amer- 
icas depend on the ability of peoples in the Americas to 
live peacefully, cooperatively and profitably among 
themselves. Trade is necessary for their mutual pros- 
perity. If their trade is to develop, their peoples must 
have political security and confidence in the other na- 
tions. To have these, their peoples must understand each 
other, realize their common problems, appreciate their 
economic and cultural differences. 


Prime Minister King put his finger directly on the 
major key to harmonious relations among the Americas 
when he designated "public opinion." Whether Cana- 
dian public opinion has developed sufficiently to warrant 
immediate steps to bring Canada into the Pan American 
Union is a matter of personal opinion; some of us would 
differ with Mr. King on this point. The Prime Minister, 
however, left the door wide open in asserting that the pos- 
sibility deserves careful consideration in Canada and all 
the Americas. Canadians know that Pan American na- 
tions cannot "play an increasingly significant part in the 
world's affairs" without those affairs bearing an impor- 
tant influence on the future development of Canada. 

Public opinion is the most powerful force to be con- 
sidered in the domestic or international relations of any 
nation. Ever since President Benjamin Harrison called 
James G. Elaine as his secretary of state, and the latter 
convoked the First International Conference of American 
States on October 2, 1889, in Washington, the develop- 
ment of the Pan American Union has been a story of 
educating public opinion. 

Back in 1906 when Dr. L. S. Rowe, now director gen- 
eral of the Pan American Union, was a professor in the 
University of Pennsylvania, he addressed a special session 
of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 
in Philadelphia: 

"With each succeeding conference," he told his lis- 
teners, "the machinery through which the American re- 
publics express their united will is becoming more deli- 
cate in its adjustment and more effective in promoting 
that mutual understanding upon which the peace and 
prosperity of this continent rest. 

"To us in the United States, these conferences have 
been of inestimable educative value. They have con- 


tributed more than any other factor toward a more defi- 
nite formulation of our policy in American affairs, and 
they have made us see more clearly that our position on 
this continent involves not only rights, but also grave 

Canadian statesmen, now that Canada is standing on 
her own feet as a nation, are realizing that with rights go 
"grave responsibilities." Every nation in the Americas 
faces the serious matter today of educating its public 
opinion to the problems, values and opportunities in 
cooperative effort. Canada is not exempt from a role in 
this continental responsibility. Canadians know they 
must make momentous decisions, and a laissezfaire atti- 
tude regarding the Pan American Union will not long 

John Barrett, then director of the Pan American 
Union, told a Springfield, Mass., audience in 1918 that 
while Canada's status as a dependency of Great Britain 
caused it at that time to remain outside the Union, he 
believed steps would be taken shortly after peace was 
declared to include Canada in the Union. The World 
War, he added, had done more to develop the solidarity, 
mutuality and cooperation of nations in the Western 
Hemisphere than any other event since President Monroe 
declared his famous Doctrine. 

Four years earlier, at the beginning of the World War, 
Mr. Barrett asserted in an article in The Saturday Evening 
Post: "The United States faces today the greatest re- 
sponsibility and opportunity in the history of its recent 
foreign relations. A new era is dawning, a Pan American 
era. The countries of Central America and South 
America are coming into their own and will stand for 
years in the spotlight of the international stage." 

Mr. Barrett's prediction of twenty-five years ago has 


come true. We are living today in the forenoon of that 
Pan American era. It is the brightest and most cheerful 
thing on the political horizons of the world. 

IN 1925 IT WAS SUGGESTED that conditions had changed so 
much since Canada's entrance in the Pan American 
Union was first proposed that obstacles had largely dis- 
appeared. One writer suggested that "when Canada's ad- 
mission to the Union . . . was first broached, it would 
have been virtually tantamount to the admission of 
Great Britain." Canada's position has changed so greatly 
in the British Commonwealth of Nations, he added, "that 
no such reason against Canada's admission could be ad- 
vanced today." 

The question of Canada's admission was discussed on 
both sides in 1927. A Commission of Jurists meeting at 
Rio de Janeiro conferred on its legal aspects. It was re- 
ported to have been discussed informally by the Govern- 
ing Board of the Union itself. The Canadian Senate at 
Ottawa broached the subject in March of the same year. 

Canada's admission was to have been deliberated upon 
at the Sixth International Conference of American States 
at Havana. There was some question as to whether 
Canada was "an American State" in the same sense as 
were members of the Union. Views of the United States 
Government were reported to favor Canada's eligibility 
for membership inasmuch as she has been accepted as a 
member of the League of Nations. Furthermore, the 
United States government viewed favorably the possi- 
bility of Canada being invited into the Union at that 
1928 conference. 

The Havana conference closed, however, without the 
question being formally raised. Even then it was a matter 
of everyone waiting for another to take the initiative. 


Canada had made no request that her membership be 
considered. The United States delegates felt it inadvis- 
able to take the initiative in moving Canada's admission. 
They went to the conference, however, with instructions 
to second such a motion if it were made by a Latin 
American delegate. The motion was not made. 

In 1932, William Fisher of San Francisco wrote a letter 
to the editor of Chile Pan Am, setting forth the issue in 
clear-cut language. In part he wrote: 

The Pan American movement would be materially strengthened 
if the Dominion of Canada were to participate in it on the same basis 
as all other countries of the American Continent. No gesture would 
serve better to create a friendlier spirit on the part of the Latin 
American members of the Pan American Union, than to have the 
United States propose that Canada become a member of the Union 
at Washington, and that everything done hereafter in the name of 
Pan America be made to include the Dominion. The qualifying facts 
as regards Canada for such action would be: first, that she is on the 
American continent; and second, that she is to all intents and pur- 
poses a free and independent nation. . . . 

Canada in the Pan American Union would mean a stronger 
Union, a strengthening of the ties that bind the United States to 
Latin America and to Canada, a step in the direction of world peace 
and cooperation. 

At the Seventh International Conference of American 
States at Montevideo in 1933, Canada's membership 
issue was actually discussed. A delegate from Chile an- 
nounced that representatives from his country had re- 
ceived instructions to support any proposal that Canada 
form part of the Pan American Union. The matter was 
in the hands of the Eighth Committee of the Conference. 
A delegate from Ecuador suggested that Canada be in- 
vited to participate in future conferences. The Commit- 
tee merely adopted a resolution recommending that the 
Pan American Union study the desirability of permitting 


states not members of the Union to adhere to treaties and 
diplomatic conventions signed at Pan American confer- 

The delegate from Equador endeavored to have the 
Eighth Committee go on record as favoring the inclusion 
of Canada in the Union. A delegate from Peru, however, 
explained that although he considered it desirable that 
Canada form part of the Pan American Union, he did not 
favor the proposal before the Committee. The mere fact 
that Canada's membership possibilities had been dis- 
cussed at the Seventh Conference, according to the Peru 
delegate, was sufficient, because the Canadian govern- 
ment, in the light of that fact, "can take the initiative." 

In 1933, therefore, the issue was carried to Canada's 

CANADA'S MEMBERSHIP was not brought up at the Lima 
conference last winter. The issue is at a standstill be- 
cause each side is waiting for the other to make the first 
move toward an invitation. Some officials expressed the 
view to me that if Canada is really interested in becoming 
a member, she will make that fact officially known. 
Canadian officials told me in effect that Canada hesi- 
tated to indicate a desire for membership until she had 
received an official invitation. 

My own view is that benefits would be so great mutu- 
ally if Canada became a member of the Pan American 
Union that there never will be a better time for this im- 
portant diplomatic step to be taken than in the months 
immediately ahead as the Pan American Union ap- 
proaches its fiftieth anniversary. 

Pan American Union services to its members are today 
encompassing the realms indicated by Elihu Root thirty- 
three years ago. Last January the First American Confer- 


ence on Intellectual Cooperation was held at Santiago, 
Chile, marking a significant step toward closer intellec- 
tual cooperation throughout the Western Hemisphere, 
and more recently still was held the First Inter-American 
Travel Congress at San Francisco. Canada, significantly, 
sent delegates to this conference. Machinery was set up 
to encourage travel throughout the Americas and the 
Dominion of Canada. The next travel conference was 
arranged to meet at Mexico City in 1941. Bruce Mac- 
Namee, chief of the new United States Travel Bureau, 
was quoted as saying that Canada at San Francisco "was 
for the first time recognized as a participant in an inter- 
American conference." 

All the twenty-one republics of the Pan American 
Union are young nations. In 1942 they will celebrate the 
450th anniversary of the discovery of the American con- 
tinents by Columbus. They are growing, developing, 
progressive nations. The Pan American Union nations 
are setting before the world an example of peaceful 
internationalism . 

Americans will long remember the parting words of 
King George VI just before he and Queen Elizabeth 
boarded the Empress of Britain at Halifax after their his- 
toric visit to North America: "From the Atlantic to the 
Pacific, and from the Tropics to the Arctic, lies a large 
part of the earth where there is no possibility of war be- 
tween neighbors, whose peoples are wholly dedicated 
to the pursuits of peace, a pattern to all men of how 
civilized nations should live together. It is good to know 
that such a region exists, for what man can do once he 
can do again. By God's grace yours may yet be the ex- 
ample which all the world will follow." 

Although King George was referring primarily to 
Canada and the United States, and the neighborly rela- 


tions existing for many decades along more than 3,000 
miles of unfortified boundary, he expressed in those 
words the very essence of Pan Americanism. They may 
be applied in either direction from the Tropics. 

The Pan American Union functions as a cooperative 
organization concerned with the commercial, industrial, 
agricultural, social and educational developments, and 
with the general progress, of each of its member nations. 
It is a center of exchange for information about these 
nations and their interests. It is a permanent commission 
of the international conferences. It affords the world's 
finest archives for Pan American information. Its Gov- 
erning Board promotes international conferences of ex- 
perts to study specific problems of interest and impor- 
tance to all American nations. 

Prime Minister King's reference to technical changes 
that would be required in the "constitution" in case 
Canada joined the Union creates a slight confusion of 
terms. The Pan American Union does not possess a "con- 
stitution." It operates under resolutions adopted at the 
Fifth International Conference at Santiago in 1923, and 
modifications adopted in 1928 at Havana. 

I WISH TO CITE several advantages that might be expected 
to result from Canada's membership in the Pan American 
Union. These may be considered, first, as benefits to 
Canada nationally; second, as Pan American benefits. 

Advantages to Canada: 

First, Canada would enjoy increased economic ad- 
vantages through the great stimulus in mutual trade that 
membership in the Pan American Union would be ex- 
pected to bring in its wake. 

Second, Canada's prestige would increase in the family 
of nations because every nation dealing in Pan American 


affairs is treated as an equal, regardless of size or popula- 
tion. Canada at present is in the embarrassing position of 
a grown-up son of Britain, independent, experienced, but 
still bashfully hitched to his mother's apron strings. 

Third, Canada would benefit profoundly by cooperat- 
ing more closely with the United States and other Pan 
American countries in the fight against insidious Fascist 
and Communist propaganda from abroad. 

Fourth, Canada's problems are more akin to those of 
other American nations than to any nation of Europe, 
including England. Canadians think as Americans do, 
are subjected to the same forces of history and traditions 
and political and industrial development. Canadians are 

Advantages to Pan American nations: 

First, all American nations would benefit by Canada's 
membership in the Union because this would bring prac- 
tically all of North America rightfully into this coopera- 
tive organization which is not rightfully Pan American 
until Canada becomes a member. 

Second, Canada possesses a stable, self-reliant, repre- 
sentative government and an intelligent people believing 
soundly in American democracy. Its membership in the 
Pan American Union would strengthen democratic 
cooperation among all the American nations. 

Third, every American nation, Canada included, 
would feel that peaceful relations throughout the Western 
Hemisphere had been strengthened. This would react on 
public opinion in the Americas and across the oceans. 

Fourth, Canada has developed democratic traditions 
that would make her leadership invaluable in developing 
new principles of international law to solve the new and 
changing problems forever arising in this Hemisphere. 

Fifth, Canada's membership in the British Common- 


wealth of Nations would interfere no more with her role 
in the Pan American Union than it did when she became 
an active member of the League of Nations. 

Sixth, Canada's training in international statesman- 
ship attained in the League of Nations would be valuable 
to all members of the Pan American Union in peacefully 
settling future problems among them and in strength- 
ening the machinery of the Western World against war. 

Seventh, principles of the Monroe Doctrine have al- 
ready been interpreted as applying in theory to Canada; 
her membership in the Union would strengthen those 
principles and promote solidarity and security in this 

Eighth, Canada's future connections with a possibly 
revised and strengthened League of Nations in Europe 
would be no more affected by membership in the Pan 
American Union than would relations of the sixteen 
other American nations that are or have been members 
of the League. 

Ninth, relations between Canada and her only neigh- 
bor, the United States, as now handled so commendably 
by the International Joint Commission, would not be 
affected, except favorably, by her membership in the 
Union. That commission possesses the power (although 
it never has been exerted) to deal with affairs affecting 
both nations regardless of their remoteness from the 
international boundary. 

Canada's minister in Washington would automatically 
become a member of the Governing Board of the Pan 
American Union. Changes and technicalities involved 
in admitting Canada to this inter-American family of 
nations should be comparatively simple, because pro- 
vision for most of them was made thirty years ago by 
far-seeing statesmen. 

How Better People 
Do Something Real 

Benefit for the Seamen 


The action takes place in a huge, lavishly appointed pent- 
house with a grand piano, a grand radio, love seats, cocktail 
tables, big and small paintings on the walls, wall lamps, stand-up 
lamps, and so on. 

As the curtain goes up, the party has obviously been going on 
for some time. About twenty people are present. Several petting 
couples are stretched out on the floor against the walls. Others are 
seated on chairs. The host and hostess, Mr. Eustace Seaholm 
and Mrs. Elaine Seaholm, come in and out of the room, seeing 
that all is well. A butler does the same. Facing the audience are 
seated Mrs. Clydehurst, a dowager, and Mr. Gr anvil le, a radical 
big shot and writer. They talk. Not far from them, and against 
the wall, is a couple petting. They are Muriel and Carl. Against 
the same wall, and also petting, is another couple, Hortense and 
Philip. The lights are fairly low. 


Not so hard, dear. 


All right, I won't. But I insist that Kautsky's attack on 
the Comintern was uncalled for. He never did get over 
his lackey attitude toward the state. 




(Across stage, caressing his partner) 
I love to hold you. 


I love you to. I enjoyed your review in the Mighty Banner 
very much. Your attack on Max Eastman was simply 
beautiful. I read it again last Sunday. He must be a 
horrid person. 


You should have seen the original manuscript. The 
editor cut it. A lot he knows. 

(They embrace) 

Yes, dear? 


Do you have to go home tonight? 


Of course not, silly. 

(ENTER Mortimer Hanson, escorted by Mrs. Seaholm. He 
leaves her and walks slowly about the room. He recognizes 


Hello, Phil. 

(Philip is embracing Hortense. He extricates himself and 
looks up) 


Hello, Mort. Mort, I want you to meet . . . 

(He turns to his girl bashfully) 
I'm sorry. I didn't get your name. 



(Fixing her hair) 
Hortense Auriol. 

Miss Auriol, Mr. Hanson. Hortense and Mort. 


Hello, Mort. 


Glad to know you, Hortense. 

(He walks off, and Philip and Hortense return to their 


It's a little uncomfortable against the wall. 

I'll put my arm around you. Better now? 


Thank you, darling. 

(She kisses his hand) 

( Throughout the preceding, Mrs. Clydehurst and Granville 

have been sipping cocktails and talking softly) 


You must lead an interesting life, Mr. Granville. 


(With the fatigue of a man burdened with responsibilities) 
Yes, you might call it that. Fighting the battles of the 
downtrodden masses has its interesting side, too. I wish 
you'd come to one of our affairs, Mrs. Clydehurst. You'd 
see all the good work we do, and 

you might wish to give a helping hand. 



I'd love to, but I get about so little, really, but I'll 
remember your invitation. 


May I send you some of our announcements? 


Certainly. Send them to me at the Pierre. 


(All enthusiasm) 

With pleasure. At the Pierre. I'll make a note of it. 
(He pulls out a dirty envelope and makes a note) 


Do you write? 


I started a novel ten years ago, but I soon decided to 
give it up. It's impossible to write in a capitalistic society. 
Wrong social milieu. 

(They subside into pantomime) 


You have such a nice head, Carl. Has anybody done it? 

What do you mean, done my head? 

Made a sculpture of it, foolish. 


(He suddenly sits up straight) 

Listen. I want to read you my latest poem. You are the 
first to hear it. 

Later, sweet, not now. I am really interested, but later. 



(He puts his hand in his coat pocket and pulls out a 
No, now. 

(He unfolds the manuscript) 


All right, but first give me a kiss. 
(He gives her a hurried kiss) 


"Forward, Forward Clamp the Beaten Masses." That's 
the title. Listen close: 

"The ragged, bagged mass of massive humanity, 
Down-trodden, blood-sweated, 
Little children breadless, 
Little girls void of dresses, 
Little boys bereft of pants, 
Yes, pants, you Puritanical conservatives, 
Pants, pants, 

Little mothers undersized, 
Except when bloated with new cannon fodder, 
Little fathers, scrawny, thorny, swollen-knuckled, 
Bed-room, kitchen, hallway, 
All, everything, without windows, 
Without the sunshine the Morgans have stolen 
In order to make slaves of us all 
Awake, arise, you molten clumps of blood and bones, 
Awake, arise, 
Forward, in triumph, 
Forward, in happiness, 
Forward to a happy, liberated America, 
Awake, arise!" 

That's the first stanza. Isn't it vigorous, straightforward? 



It's wonderful, darling! You have such a nice mouth. 


I'm going to have more stanzas. Just as good. I have the 
beginning of the second stanza in my mind. Listen: 
"East wind, West wind, South wind, North wind, 
Every wind, 

Free, happy, proletarian wind, 
Unsullied by capitalistic foulness, 
Emancipated elements of eternity." 

How do you like that? 

Darling ! 

(At this moment, Mrs. Clydehurst, who had been listening 
to Carl's declamation, turns from Granville to Carl) 


Splendid, dear boy, splendid. I adored every word of it. 

Oh, you like it, too? 


Very much. 

(They go into pantomime) 
(ENTER Mrs. Seaholm) 


(In a whisper to Mr. Seaholm) 
Dear, I just heard the bell. I think it's the two seamen. 

(Claps her hands) 

If I may have your attention, everybody, please. In a 
couple of minutes the two seamen will be up here to ask 
our aid. I mean they want us to help them. 


(To Mr. Seaholm) 
Hurry, dear, and get "Contemplation." 




You're so helpless. You know, the sculpture Orin Bro 
did for us, to be raffled off. 



(He rushes to a corner of the room, and brings over a horrible 
piece of sculpture. Mrs. Seaholm takes it. The butler whis- 
pers in her ear that the seamen have arrived. She leaves Mr. 
Seaholm, runs to meet the seamen, and in a moment escorts 
both of them into the room, still holding the sculpture) 


Attention, everybody, please. Our seamen are here. This 
is Walt and this is Slug. 

Welcome, comrades. 

Welcome, comrades. 


Slug wants to say a few words. 


(Bashful and stuttering) 

Well, I really don't know how to begin in such a place, 
and I ... You see us boys from Local 97 of the Seamen's 
Union were figuring this way. As you know, the boys 
. . . well, I mean there is some debauchery, and the com- 
mittee thought it would be a good idea to start a culture 


group, a sort of club, and we need the dough. So, that's 
all, I guess. 


Just a moment, please, everybody. 

(She holds up "Contemplation") 

To help out the seamen, Orin Bro, you all know him, 
has made this wonderful piece of sculpture to raffle off. 
He's sorry he couldn't be here himself. 

(Turns to Slug giving him "Contemplation") 
You start the auction. 


(In undertone) 
Holy mackerel ! 

(To Walt, in a whisper) 
What the hell is this? 


Looks like the barber's itch to me. 

What am I bid for this? 

(Bids are hollered out: fifteen dollars, seventeen dollars, 
twenty dollars, twenty-two dollars) 



Fifteen dollars, what do I hear? Seventeen dollars, 
twenty dollars, twenty- two dollars. 

Twenty-five dollars. 


Twenty-five. Do I hear another bid? Sold for twenty- 
five dollars. 


(Applause. Philip rushes over, gives Slug a check, and takes 
"Contemplation" over to Hor tense. He puts it behind her, 
for her to lean on) 

More comfortable, now, dear? 


Yes, darling. Thank you. 


Now some dancing, if you wish. 

(Some one turns on the radio. Several couples gradually get 
up and dance) 


(To Waif) 
Will you dance with me? 


I'm not much of a dancer, lady, but if you don't mind . . . 
(They dance) 

(Slug looks around and notes a young woman standing 
alone. He asks her j or a dance, in pantomime. They dance) 

You're a swell dancer, girlie. 


Think so? 

I mean it. What's your moniker? 


I'm sorry. . . . 


I mean what's your name. 




Swell. I like Dorothy. You're swell. 

(They dance in silence for a few moments) 


What do you say, girlie, we go out, and go places? 

(She doesn't answer) 


Gee, Dorothy, I don't mean anything. 

What do you mean? 


I mean Platonic. Just tonight and then we forget about 
it, see. 


(They continue dancing. In a few moments, Philip and 
Hortense go out, leaving "Contemplation" against the 
wall. Then Muriel and Carl go out. In a few seconds 
Philip, Hortense, Muriel and Carl return) 


The elevators have gone on strike. 

And this is the twenty-third floor. The dirty bastards. 

Fresh Portraits of 
World-Famed Artists 

Artists I Have Known 

Through Eighty Years 


IN THE SIMPLE, simple days of the Boston I first remem- 
ber (the 1860's), artists' studios were open to the 
public on Saturday mornings. My first knowledge of 
artists was going with my mother to call at the Studio 
Building on Tremont Street. 

Here lived George Snell, the architect who built the 
Boston Music Hall for Jenny Lind's concert, when P. T. 
Barnum brought the Swedish Nightingale to Boston. 
Snell was a hospitable soul, remembered for his Welsh 
rabbits and his cockney speech. 

The first artist I remember is William Hunt. What a 
glorious creature he was, riding his black horse about 
Newport streets, or pitching hay at his Readville home, 
near Boston. My mother and I often drove out to the 
Readville studio. Hunt's stable was built before his 
house. The children slept in box stalls. Mrs. Hunt's 
grand piano, on which stood a vase of red roses, was in 
one corner of the carriage room. In the other were 
William's saddle, harness and crop. 

Hunt, who had studied in Paris with Couture and 
Millet, was the leading figure in the Boston art world. 
Something of his breathless enthusiasm is preserved in 
his "Talks on Art," recorded by Helen Knowlton. He 



died at fifty-four, drowned in a reservoir on the Isles of 
Shoals. Gossip whispered " Suicide!" 

His friend, Dr. Langmaid, said to me: 

"Tell me that William Hunt, with his sense of humor, 
with the Atlantic Ocean rolling round the Isles of Shoals, 
committed suicide by jumping into a cistern, with a green 
umbrella in his hand? That's a little too much for me to 

In the 1870's, Benjamin Curtis Porter was the most 
popular Boston portrait painter. He made a good crayon 
drawing of my mother; a small picture of my sister 
Laura as The Blessed Damosel; and a three-quarters oil 
portrait of me, with a saucy pug-dog, now in the Cor- 
coran Gallery. This made a hit at the Philadelphia 
Exhibition in 1876. Soon after, Porter moved to New 
York where he was known as the Court Painter of the 
Vanderbilts. A brilliant wit, he soon became so fashiona- 
ble that his subjects often had to wait two years for their 
first sitting. This was before John Sargent forged to the 
front and eclipsed him. 

Sargent told me that he always painted the face in his 
portraits at one sitting, but that he had painted and 
scraped out Mrs. Jack Gardner's face nine times, before 
he was satisfied. The portrait is now in Fenway Court. 
My last memory of Sargent was when he was installing 
his murals in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. About 
the same time my husband John Elliott's decorative 
ceiling, The Triumph of Time, was being installed in the 
Boston Public Library. They had been fellow students 
under Carolus Durant in the old Quartier-Latin days in 
Paris. He was cordial and generous about Jack's magnum 

Sargent told me he could not endure the idea of paint- 
ing another portrait of a fashionable woman in jewels and 


satins. He had been so besieged by sitters that he had 
escaped from London to Spain, where he made many of 
his memorable water colors. The only portraits he would 
now consider were drawings in red chalk. I was fortunate 
enough to have for safekeeping for two years his drawing 
of Captain Rufus Zogbaum, U.S.N. When the owner 
reclaimed the portrait I felt a living presence had gone. 

Sargent was exceptionally kind about the work of 
others, a rare trait among artists. Today it is the fashion 
to belittle his work. This will pass. As long as his magnifi- 
cent oil paintings, his precious water colors, best of all 
his matchless drawings, survive, his reputation will 

Among my interesting artist friends was Albert Pink- 
ham Ryder. When I first visited his New York studio he 
was unknown and would probably have starved to death 
had not his brother kept a modest hotel, where he was 
free to feed. His studio was a hall bedroom, in a brown- 
stone dwelling, three flights up. 

On the second story a door opened, and a little old 
seamstress challenged us: 

"Who you looking for?" 

"Mr. Ryder." 

She was disappointed, she had hoped for a customer. 
Then she brightened if we had not come for her art, 
perhaps for her friend's. 

"He's at home. Most always is. Don't get enough air or 


At our knock Albert opened the door, in his shirt 
sleeves. Embarrassed at seeing a lady he hurriedly 
searched for his coat and in doing so knocked over the 
little earthernware pot on the coal fire in the open grate, 
and spilt the stew of meat and vegetables on the rug. He 
scrambled the carpet over the mess. 


"You mustn't do that!" I expostulated, "you'll spoil 
your rug." 

He paid no attention but found a chair for me. 

On the easel stood his Pegasus, a beautiful canvas 
painted with a jewel-like richness. Ryder's method was 
unique he used a thick glaze that gave an almost 
enamelled look to his pictures. His subjects are mystical; 
they spiritually recall the work of William Blake. 

I had heard that Ryder was something of a poet. 
Warmed by our enthusiasm he recited his latest poem, an 
apostrophe to nature, striding up and down his little 
studio, his auburn hair and beard tousled, his face aflame. 

So do I always remember him. 

IN 1877, WHEN I WAS in London with my mother, I got 
my first impression of English artists at the reception at 
Burlington House for the opening of the Royal Academy, 
and of the social season. All the beaux and beauties were 
there, as well as the artists. Lily Langtry, Lady Dudley, 
Mrs. Cornwallis West were the reigning queens: people 
quarrelled as to which was the most beautiful. 

My mother and I went to the reception escorted by 
Gennadius, the Minister from Greece, and John Elliott 
whom we had recently met. The President, Sir Frederick 
Leighton, a perfect old turkey-cock, dressed in his black 
silk robes of office, stood at the head of the stairs, receiv- 
ing the guests. The flunkey mixed the cards; Elliott, 
announced as The Minister from Greece, was received 
with low bows and much courtesy by Sir Frederick. The 
Greek diplomat, who was announced as Mr. Elliott, 
received only a curt greeting, and dismissal. 

Among the artists was James McNeill Whistler, a vain 
fop, dressed to kill. His hair was still black, with one tuft 
of white, combed and curled so it stood up like a feather. 


His long cloak, single eyeglass, intense self-consciousness, 
gave the impression of extreme vanity. He had lately 
brought a suit against Ruskin, claiming that Ruskin' s 
adverse criticism hurt the sale of his works. Among the 
witnesses was Burne-Jones who admitted that the artist 
showed talent, but said that his pictures were unfinished. 
My young sympathies were with Burne-Jones and 
Ruskin, so I looked critically at Whistler's work. I see it 
differently now, the morning I spent lately among the 
Whistler masterpieces in the Freer Gallery wiped out 
any lingering prejudice. 

Whistler is among the immortals I have known. 

George Howard, later Earl of Carlisle, a friend of my 
mother and of Burne-Jones, wanted the artist to paint me. 
But from the first sitting I knew I was not up his alley. 
He went on with the painting to please Howard, but it 
was no good. I was not his type. He finally put me in one 
of his large, decorative panels, where a row of nymphs 
disport themselves. 

Burne-Jones then lived at The Grange. During the 
sittings I was aware of a group of children running in 
and out of the garden, up and down the stairs. It may 
well be that I saw my favorite author, Rudyard Kipling, 
when he was a boy of eleven; last year I learned from 
Kipling's Something About Myself, that at that time he 
was often at the house of Mrs. Burne-Jones, his aunt. 

William Morris dropped in once or twice to consult 
Burne-Jones about some furniture he was designing. He 
wore aesthetic clothes a coarse blue linen shirt, and 
tan colored tweed suit. The effect of his get-up was that 
of a great gentleman masquerading as an artisan. He 
was a sad faced man. I never saw him smile. I realized, 
as they talked, that I was in the presence of two re- 
markable men. Burne-Jones work has always delighted 


me. A small Venus remains the perfect work he has left. 
I first saw this in his studio in 1877. Later I was to enjoy 
his murals in the American Church in Rome. 

Alma Tadema was then one of the popular artists. His 
house was built in the classic style, with marble benches 
and fountains that he painted endlessly. His wife, one of 
the handsome daughters of the maker of Epps' Cocoa, 
was nicknamed "Delicious." Another, married to Ed- 
mond Gosse, went by the name "Refreshing." 

Mrs. Tadema herself was an artist. Her husband, 
showing me her work, said: 

"It is my ambition to have on my tombstone, 'Here 
lies the husband of Mrs. Alma Tadema/* : 

The pre-Raphaelite period in English art was nearing 
its close. The youngest of the group, Marie Spartoli 
Stillman, went on painting her exquisite pictures, to the 
end of her long life. In the early years of this century she 
came to the United States to visit her son, Michael Still- 
man, and gave an exhibition at the Art Association of 
Newport. I took her to a wedding reception, where this 
eighty-year-old beauty (whom Rosetti, Burne-Jones and 
the other pre-Raphaelites had painted) stole the show. 
Bride and bridesmaids were eclipsed by her delicate, 
ancient loveliness. She was dressed in simple black, with 
touches of gold, and a tight fitting little bonnet of an 
archaic era. 

A HAPPY ADVENTURE of my early married life was a tour 
of European studios with my husband. The first visit was 
to the studio of Josef Israels. The old artist in smock and 
beret, palette and maulstick in hand, opened the door. 
He looked at us enquiringly. 

"I am a pupil of Villegas," said my husband. 

That was enough. It was like the masonic hand touch. 


Israels welcomed the eager young artist and his friend. 

This was my first meeting with the freemasonry of the 
European artists, so different from the jealous attitude of 
the Americans I had known at home. Israels welcomed 
us warmly and let us into his studio. He showed us the 
picture on the easel a Dutch peasant interior with an 
old woman sitting beside the bed where her dead hus- 
band lay, a poignant simple scene that, after fifty 
years, I can see as if I had seen it yesterday. 

Nearby lived Taco Mesdag, in a handsome house and 
in greater style than the other Dutch or Flemish artists 
we visited. He had always wanted to be an artist, he 
told us, but knew he could not starve his way to success, 
so he went into the jewelry business, made a fortune, and, 
at thirty-nine, settled down to the serious business of 
painting. His pictures soon became best sellers. He was a 
true artist whose pictures of Dutch river boats and land- 
scapes I remember with pleasure. 

In Munich we knocked at the door of Franz von 
Lenbach, and were made welcome to his magnificent 
studio where hung one of his famous portraits of Bis- 
marck, and one of an American gentleman, Dr. Emer- 
son. Lenbach was a jovial soul, and one of the first por- 
trait painters of his time. A picture of Bessie Crawford 
hung in Marion Crawford's villa at Sorrento. 

In Paris, Gustav Dore made us at home in his studio, 
where he was modelling tiny Cupids for a mammoth vase 
he was making for the coming exhibition. I knew Dore's 
illustrations of The Wandering Jew, and Dante's Inferno, 
and his paintings in the Dore Gallery in London, but 
never thought of him as a sculptor. 

"I weary of brush and pencil," he said, "so, for a rest 
I make these infants. Or, play my violin." He took the 
violin from the wall and played brilliantly. 


Dore looked like a meridional, vigorous and swarthy, 
with a bull neck, long hair, heavy drooping moustache, 
burning eyes. He died soon after, at fifty, one of the most 
dynamic forces in the art world of the last century. 

The Englishman, George Watts, was one of the most 
lovable of the famous artists I have known. On our last 
visit to him, at Little Holland House, Kensington, we 
lunched in a room adjoining the large gallery. The room 
was filled with pictures and portraits, and the gallery, 
with some of his most important works, was open to the 
public on Saturdays and Sundays. 

Speaking of Life and Love he said: 

"I think of giving this to America (I do not sell my 
pictures) it may have a lesson for your country. Life 
is a poor thing at best, toiling up a steep, rough path and, 
unless helped by love, not worth having. Love cannot lift 
the burden from Life, but it touches it gently and makes 
the steep path endurable." 

Watts was then a frail, slender old man, with keen 
blue eyes and fine teeth. He wore a claret-colored skull- 
cap, and a brown coat with lace ruffles at his wrists. 

We knew him as a rare portrait painter, and creator of 
many lovely symbolic pictures, Life and Love, Love and 
Death and, most popular of all, Hope, a blind-folded 
figure of a woman seated on the roof of the world. He was 
at work, then, upon a mammoth sculptural group a 
horse and man, that was rolled from an outer building 
into the studio on a tiny railroad. 

He spoke of this work, which he called Physical Energy, 
with a sort of gentle despair: 

"If this is ever finished where will it go?" 

"If? It must be," we both exclaimed. 

Physical Energy now marks the grave of Cecil Rhodes in 
the Matappo Hills in South Africa. 


I once met Cecil Rhodes at a dinner in the Grand 
Hotel in Rome, a tall, vigorous, high colored man, who 
looked as though he might be a Senator from Nevada. 
He died in 1902, two years before Watts died. I wonder 
if the artist ever knew that his magnificent monument 
was chosen as the most fitting memorial to Rhodes. 

MY FIRST TOUCH with that brave band of Pioneer Ameri- 
can Artists of the early nineteenth century was when, as a 
child of ten, my mother took me to her childhood's home, 
The Corner, in Bond Street, New York (now a neighbor- 
hood of rag pickers). She pointed out a pair of lovely 
marble mantelpieces, the work of a stone cutter's young 
apprentice, Thomas Crawford, who later became Ameri- 
ca's foremost sculptor and married my mother's sister, 
Louisa Ward. 

Italy was then the Mecca of American art students, 
some settled in Florence, more in Rome. When I first saw 
Italy, in 1877, one of them was it Thomas Bull or 
Randolph Rogers? asked to take a cast of my nose. 
Little knowing the torture this entailed I gaily assented 
and passed as disagreeable an hour as I can remember. 
The sculptor, after greasing my nose, inserted a pair of 
straws in my nostrils and piled a mould of hot plaster on 
my suffering beak ! It even got into my mouth, and I can 
still feel the grit between my teeth. 

Thomas Crawford had been long dead, but his old 
studio had been preserved intact by his widow, married 
to another artist, Luther Terry. With Crawford's son, 
my cousin Marion, I studied the casts of the sculptor's 
best known works: The Washington Monument at 
Richmond; the bronze doors of the main eastern en- 
trance to the Senate and House Wings of the national 
Capitol; the Senate pediment and the colossal figure of 


Freedom on the dome. There were several finished 
statues in marble, one of a large angel with drooping 

The sad problem, one that arises after the death of 
almost every artist "what will become of his work?" 
had not yet been solved, more than twenty years after 
his death. I never knew what became of the other 
statues; the angel, Marion's favorite, now broods over 
his grave in the little cemetery at St. Agnello di Sorrento. 

I learned something of the jealousies and heart burn- 
ings of those dear old, half forgotten pioneers, from letters 
Thomas Crawford wrote my father. He poured torrents 
of abuse on Hiram Powers, whose Greek Slave was hav- 
ing a vast popularity. Another feud based on jealousy 
between the Crawford and Story families, divided the 
American-Roman colony for years, until Dr. Nevins, 
Rector of the American Church, made peace between 
the houses, at both of which he liked to dine. 

In 1894, seventeen years after my first winter in Rome, 
I returned with my husband, and for the last six years of 
the last century, lived in the Borgo, opposite St. Peters, in 
the very shadow of the Vatican. From our terrace we 
could see the windows of Leo XI IPs apartment. During 
these years, when Elliott was painting The Triumph of 
Time, for the Boston Public Library and, a few years 
later when he was at work on Diana of the Tides, a mural 
for the National Museum in Washington, we consorted 
with artists from many lands. 

Elihu Vedder's studio, in the Piazza di Spagna, was a 
nerve center of American art. Vedder was making his 
illustrations for The Rubaiyat, for which he is today best 

Moses Ezekiel, a successful Jewish- American sculptor, 
had his studio in the ancient Roman Baths of Caracalla, 


where he gave pleasant "At Homes" to the cosmopolitan 
crowd of winter Rome. Ezekiel had been decorated by 
the King of Italy. This gave him the right to use the title 
Cavaliere. He chose to translate this, and his visiting cards 
read: Sir Moses Ezekiel, for which he became the laugh- 
ing stock of the English artists. 

SOME OF MY HAPPIEST MEMORIES of American artists are of 
the summers we spent in Cornish, New Hampshire. The 
Colony had been founded, in 1885, by Augustus Saint- 
Gaudens, on the tip that "there are many Lincoln-shaped 
men up there." We were admitted to the close corporation 
through the good offices of our friend Mrs. Houston, 
whom we called The Empress. Saint-Gaudens was the 
Emperor. Both had perfectly good mates of their own, 
and never knew the titles we had given them. 

One night, while Saint-Gaudens was in New York, his 
studio caught fire. We stood in a circle, awed, like wor- 
shippers at a sacrifice. Years of the sculptor's work; por- 
traits of him by Sargent and Bastien LePage; his corre- 
spondence with Robert Louis Stevenson, all were going 
up in flames. Long Mike Stillman, towering above the 
rest, pushed his way into the burning building and re- 
turned, bearing aloft the clay model of Phillips Brooks' 
head, which he had wrenched from the statue on which 
Saint-Gaudens had been working. 

This monument to Phillips Brooks stands in Copley 
Square, Boston, close to Trinity Church, where for many 
years Brooks poured out that flood of impassioned elo- 
quence, that was an echo of the Sermon on the Mount. 

George de Forest Brush was of the Colony; Thomas W. 
Dewing who paid for his land with a portrait of the wife 
of the owner; Oliver Walker; Stephen Parrish, his son 
Maxfield who was to give the world what my husband 


called "the plum colored bloom" of that charming atmos- 

Herbert Adams, the sculptor and his wife, on whose 
shoulders and hands cooing doves would perch, were 
near neighbors. Peter Finley Dunne (Mr. Dooley), vig- 
orous, full of laughter, was one of our coterie. He had 
lately married Margaret, daughter of our old friend 
Mary, Abbott. Henry and Aline Harland visited us, a 
short time before his untimely death his work only 
begun on The Car dinars Snuff Box. 

Winston Churchill brought the first automobile to 
Cornish. The farmers hated him, the machine frightened 
their horses as it did our Gypsy when we drove abroad in 
our little yellow cart. 

Life in Cornish was a mixture of rustic simplicity and 
urban sophistication. The only public conveyance was a 
stage coach that rumbled by every morning on its way to 
Windsor. After a day sacred to work, we often dined with 
some artist neighbor, by candlelight, or kerosene. 

"What's all this swappin' of grub amount to, when all's 
said and done?" asked a farmer neighbor, whose days for 
company were limited to weddings and funerals. 

Sometimes we had a picnic supper, the children, al- 
ways greatly in evidence, decking the table and them- 
selves with oak garlands, dancing in the twilight. Some- 
times all of us joined in charades and pageants. I re- 
member a night of mystery, when a hidden musician 
played upon a shepherd's pipe, another twanged a 
guitar. The purple twilight deepened to velvet black; 
the children were corralled and sorted out, the horses 
hitched to the buggies, lanterns hung on behind. 

On the 21st of June, in 1905, we celebrated the 
twentieth anniversary of the founding of the Colony, with 
a Fete Champetre at Aspet, home of Saint-Gaudens. 


The afterglow of the sunset was golden over Ascutney 
on that longest day of the year, when several hundred 
guests gathered before a sage green curtain between pine 
trees decorated with great masks of Tragedy and Com- 
edy, fashioned by Maxfield Parrish. The prologue was 
written by Percy Mackaye, the masque by Louis Evans 
Shipman; the Boston Symphony Orchestra played the 
music, written and conducted by Arthur Whiting, and 
John Blair directed the play. 

Iris, in rainbow draperies, her staff of living fleur-de- 
lis; Pluto and his court in black, gold and purple; 
Neptune, Amphitrite, Nereids in sea green and blue; 
Apollo, Venus, the Muses, all the gods and goddesses 
were there. Pan, horned, hoofed and gilded; Mars in 
blood-red draperies. Marion Mackaye a perfect Ceres, 
myself as Pomona. Chiron the Centaur (Maxfield 
Parrish) came clattering in followed by children scantily 

At the close a sybil in a cloud of smoke and fire slowly 
rose from behind the altar, holding above her head a 
golden bowl the Colony's gift to Saint-Gaudens. My 
last impression of that evening was a tiny Cupid and the 
statuesque Pan dancing across the hillside. 

The ways of the artists were strange to the New 
Hampshire natives, to whom we were all New Yorkers, 
whether we hailed from Rome or Boston. 

One evening I stood gossiping with a farmer neighbor, 
watching the sunset, discussing the weather. 

"There's a cap on 'Cutney,'" he said. "I must get in 
the hay, tomorrow." 

"This is your busy time, these long July days? The 
artists are making their hay, too." 

" S'pose so," he grunted, "if you can call it work, 
settin' on a stool all day long, daubin' paint on a canvas. 


He was trying to steer an obstreperous ewe into the fold. 
"Pesky critters!" said the farmer. "But, I kinder like 

"Referring to the New Yorkers? Or the sheep?" I 

"It mought apply to both." 

How often I have echoed his words: "Pesky critters, 
artists! But, I kinder like 'em!" 

IN 1906 MY HUSBAND AND I spent six months in Madrid, 
in the home of his master, Jose Villegas, then Court 
Painter and Director of the Prado Museum. His long 
friendship had begun with my husband when Jack was a 
young art student in Rome. After a few weeks in Ville- 
gas' studio Jack said to his master: 

"I wish to study with you, though I know I can never 
paint in your manner." 

"So much the better," said Villegas, "you will not 
steal my subjects, like the others." 

Villegas painted best when surrounded by a group of 
his students. 

The first of his pictures I remember is The Baptism, a 
brilliant creation bought by William Vanderbilt, Sr. His 
most important work, The Dogaressa, is a magnificent 
canvas in the manner of Paolo Veronese, the subject, 
The Marriage of Francesco Foscari, Doge of Venice. It 
stands at the head of the grand staircase in the Larz 
Anderson house in Washington, now the home of The 
Society of the Cincinnati. Villegas' portrait of my 
mother hangs in the Academy of Arts and Letters in New 
York; and, among my most precious possessions are three 
paintings by our cher maitre, for I grew to love him as 
much as did my husband. 

My memories of Villegas are fused with those of his 


royal master, Alfonzo XIII. The first words I heard the 
King speak were at his sister's wedding in the chapel of 
the Palace in Madrid. Striking his breast three times, he 
said: "Mea culpa; mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa!" 

I wonder for which of his sins Alfonzo lost his throne. 

This was the year of his marriage to the English 
Princess Victoria, granddaughter of Queen Victoria. 

Villegas was ordered to make the King's portrait in his 
wedding clothes. I had the fun of unpacking the box 
containing the royal garments a fine cocked hat, a 
blue military coat and waistcoat, white cloth knee 
breeches, long silk stockings, a sword with a Toledo 
blade. At the bottom of the box was a heavily sealed 
package. I broke the seal revealing a morocco case con- 
taining the Order of the Garter, just bestowed by Edward 
VII of England. The Garter was of dark blue velvet, 
edged with gold; the letters of the legend Honi Soil qui 
Mai T Pense were of very thick gold, attached with in- 
visible rivets to the velvet. 

"Where is it worn?" asked Villegas. 

"On the left leg, below the knee," said my British 

To make sure, Villegas consulted a Van Dyke portrait 
of Philip the Fourth in the Prado. 

Don Alfonzo, an impatient sitter, posed only for the 
head. Since Villegas would not paint from a manikin, 
my husband posed for the figure and, here on my desk, is 
a photograph of John Elliott in the wedding garments of 
the last King of Spain. 

I saw the portrait at the wedding reception in the 
Palace of the King, at Madrid. 

Where is that portrait now? Does it exist, save in the 
memory of this ancient seer? 

The Noted Business Leader 
States His Credo 

Why I Believe in America 


EVER SINCE its founding, the United States has had a 
special reputation among all nations a reputation 
which led millions of people to come to it, and many 
millions more, who could not migrate, to regard it as the 
land of heart's desire. This reputation is founded upon 
one simple fact: in the United States the plain man has 
always had a chance. 

For centuries the ancestors of both my father and my 
mother lived in Central Europe. Some of them were 
peasants, some were engaged in semi-professional work, 
some were artisans, others were landed proprietors; but 
all of them, through those centuries, had been restricted 
in their opportunities to the group in which they were 
born, and no one of them had ever known the true mean- 
ing of liberty. 

Those people who did not observe the restrictions 
under which they were forced to live, got into trouble: 
one had to flee his native land because he adopted the 
religion of his choice; another was ostracized because he 
believed in the principles of the French Revolution; and 
still another was jailed for his insistence on his right to 
express his own opinions. Until at last, in 1 848, my father 
and my grandparents came to America to escape this 



absolutism in government and repression of individual 

My father and mother were the first generation in both 
families to grow up in America. My mother became a 
lawyer, the first woman to be admitted to the Indiana 
bar. My father was also a lawyer, and after marriage my 
parents practiced law together. Of course, in the Europe 
from which they came, my mother would have found it 
impossible to practice a profession; and my father would 
have found it extremely difficult to get out of the groove 
worn by his ancestors. Furthermore, it would have been 
utterly impossible for them to have given their six chil- 
dren the education which they received in America. But 
because of our free educational system, they were able to 
send their children to school, high school, and college. 

And with schooling finished, there were no doors closed 
to them just because they came from a plain family in a 
small town. No one asked them about their social back- 
ground; no class distinction and no law interfered with 
their desire to earn a living in the occupation of their 
choice, or to express their opinions as they pleased. In all 
the long history of their family, these six children were 
the first to know, from the time they were born, the 
blessings of freedom. I don't want them to be the last. 

I use my own family as an illustration only because I 
know about it best. Its record, however, is the record of 
any number of American families today. Thus, for me, as 
for many other Americans, the value of freedom has had a 
practical demonstration. Freedom means for us not only 
a theoretical ideal, but definite practical rights. 

FREEDOM MEANS that if you run a store, you can sell your 
products to anybody without a government official telling 
you what the prices must be. It means that, if you are a 


professor in a university, you don't have to alter science or 
delete history as a bureaucrat prescribes. If you own a 
newspaper, you don't limit your editorial opinions to 
what an official censor approves. If you are a laborer, you 
can leave your job when you feel so inclined for any other 
job you prefer; you can join a union or not, as you please; 
you can bargain collectively with your fellow-workers on 
the conditions of your work. If you think that taxes are 
too high, you can vote against those officials you think 
responsible. And there is no limitation upon your in- 
herent American right to criticize anybody, anywhere, 
at any time. 

These instances are taken at random to indicate the 
practical application of this thing called freedom. In this 
country we take it for granted perhaps too much for 
granted. But in more than half the world freedom does 
not exist. The present conflict in Europe is perilous to 
this freedom because in a modern war people destroy the 
very things they say they are fighting for. It is because we 
wish to preserve our free democratic system that we must 
remain at peace. But we cannot remain carelessly at peace. 
If the price of democracy in ordinary times is eternal 
vigilance, in a war-period that vigilance must be doubled. 

We must be careful that, under the guise of "emer- 
gency," the powers of government are not so extended as 
to impair the vitality of free enterprise and choke off free 
expression of thought. Those who want the government to 
run America and make up the minds of the American 
people are already taking advantage of the growing war 
psychology. Already we hear of the need for the govern- 
ment to control prices, to license American business, to 
regiment American employees and employers, to censor 
the radio. 

In a critical time there is always a temptation to sur- 


render the responsibilities of a free citizen, to say to the 
government: "During this emergency, you take charge. 
You tell us what to do, what to think. You fix prices and 
production, control the press and the radio." But if we 
should yield to this temptation, the end of our free demo- 
cratic system might come as readily in peace as in war. 
Once these responsibilities of citizenship are given up, 
they are not readily returned. Government, after all, in 
its practical working consists only of aggregations of men; 
and men, having tasted power or having found a means 
by which to put their social theories into effect, do not 
easily surrender power. We must not be misled because 
suggested restrictions are for humanitarian purposes, for, 
as ex-Justice Louis D. Brandeis recently said: "Experi- 
ence should teach us to be more on our guard to protect 
our liberties when the government's purposes are benef- 
icent. . . . The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in in- 
sidious encroachments by men of zeal, well-meaning but 
without understanding." 

THE WAR HAS NOT CHANGED the grave domestic questions 
confronting America; it has just temporarily diverted our 
minds from them. For ten years we have been haunted 
by our unemployment problem. We have tried a number 
of different experiments to solve it, without success. And 
yet the solution has been in our hands for some time. 
During the depression decade, for example, American 
industry accumulated an enormous deficiency in plants 
and modern machinery. To supply this deficiency indus- 
try will need even more than the present number of 
unemployed. Industry will also need a great deal of 
additional capital, and there should be no difficulty in 
getting this, as soon as the millions of American investors 
are reassured as to the future of free private enterprise. 


Such assurance, however, is now lacking. The Secre- 
tary of the Treasury spoke some time ago of the "what's- 
the-use" attitude of businessmen small businessmen as 
well as big. You have seen it yourself: people who say, 
"What's the use in making a profit? The government will 
take it all." Workers who say, "Why get a job? I can get 
nearly as much on relief." Manufacturers who say, "Why 
take the risk in building a plant? The situation is too 

And there is also a lack of confidence within industry 
itself. This is partly a result of industry's own defects and 
abuses in the period of speculation and over-expansion 
which ended in 1929. Since that time we have had several 
years of reform; but some of these reforms have gone so 
far as to impair both the efficiency and the morale of all 
American business. In promoting recovery, the chief 
emphasis has been placed upon what the government 
should do; we have had colossal expenditures for "prim- 
ing the pump," and a colossal tax program to pay for 
these expenditures. Here is just the point where our free 
democracy is threatened. We are not in immediate dan- 
ger of losing our freedom of speech, or of press, or of 
worship. The greatest threat to the American system 
today comes from the effort to restrict free competitive 
enterprise. And such enterprise alone can make economic 
recovery possible. 

We have been told that the frontiers are gone, that the 
established American industries are slowing down, and 
that there is little to be expected in the way of new inven- 
tions. We have even been informed that the very basis of 
the American dream is no longer true; that there isn't 
much future for the young man in America; that, in short, 
the plain man no longer has much of a chance. But this 
defeatist attitude is distinctly alien to America. Let us get 


rid of it ! For such a philosophy is as false as it is cowardly. 
It is true that we no longer have new geographical fron- 
tiers; but other frontiers remain for searching and adven- 
turous minds. Our people, though they are only seven 
percent of the world's population, still control more than 
forty-five percent of the world's wealth. And we enjoy 
the highest real wages, the shortest working hours, and 
the greatest percentage of home ownership on earth. 

The great days of America are by no means done. We 
have only touched the border of our achievement. If I did 
not believe this, I would not believe in America. Because 
that faith is America. 

So my creed, if I were asked to define it, would run 
something like this: 

I believe in America because in it we are free free to 
choose our government, to speak our minds, to observe 
our different religions. 

- Because we are generous with our freedom we share 
our rights with those who disagree with us. 

Because we hate no people and covet no people's land. 

Because we are blessed with a natural and varied 

Because we set no limit to a man's achievement in 
mine, factory, field, or service in business or the arts, an 
able man, regardless of class or creed, can realize his 

Because we have great dreams and because we have 
the opportunity to make those dreams come true. 

Back-to-Nature Literature 
Lives on 

Escape Southward 


IN EVERY AGE, there are Utopians in literature who seek 
to escape from the muddle of the contemporary 
scene. First, there are those who remake the contempo- 
rary scene into a new pattern of life, from a world that we 
can recognize, like William Dean Howells in his A 
Traveler from Altruria. Such men are reformers. Second, 
there are the sheer romancers who invent not only a new 
pattern of life, but also new countries of their own that 
can never be reached physically and are the sheerest 
flimsy (existing only as the symbol of an idea) like Lord 
Dunsany, or James Hilton with The Lost Horizon of 

As a third kind, in the literature of escape from con- 
temporary civilization, there is the writer of personal 
narrative who seeks places already known but different 
from those of western civilization, such as the islands of 
the South Seas. Although maligned at times as a spinner 
of prefabricated weltschmerz, the writer of personal narra- 
tive about the South Seas deserves more serious consider- 
ation because he, at least, takes us from one real place, 
such as New York, to another real place, such as Samoa or 
the Marquesas, and not to a non-existent Altruria or 



Those of us who do not have to navigate the seas ac- 
curately can draw a line southward from the farthest tip 
of Alaska and at the same time draw a line eastward from 
Australia. Where the lines meet, we find the literary 
center of the South Seas in the Pacific. Here we come 
upon famous islands whose positions we can establish 
quite easily. First, in relative importance, we rest upon 
the Marquesas. From them draw a line southeastward to 
Pitcairn Island. Return to the Marquesas again, and 
draw a line southwestward (not quite equidistant) to 
Tahiti. Here we have the most famous triangle of the 
South Seas. If we are willing to proceed one step farther, 
we can establish the positions of some other islands, and 
then become literary. Follow the line from Pitcairn 
through Tahiti (the base of the triangle), and extend the 
line in order to reach Samoa. It is along this whole line 
that there are thousands of inhabited atolls or coral reefs, 
known as the Low Archipelago or the Paumotus (with 
each vowel pronounced separately). 

In America the literature of escape southward began 
with the outstanding work of Herman Melville whose 
Typee in 1846, a personal narrative, said everything that 
has ever been said about South Sea living. It is a fascinat- 
ing book that could bear the publication imprint of the 
present year, so little has it dated itself in a century. In 
this book Melville gives us the feeling of reality. He was 
not interested in telling the impossible or improbable, and 
he was very plausible and graphic in presenting the 
customs of the Polynesians on their island of Nukuhiva 
in the Marquesas. Incidents of daily life, house building, 
food finding and preparing, the making of kava and of 
tapa, courtship, religion, tapu in theory and practice, and 
racial traits are all set down in a style that is honest and 
that does not allow itself a flair into the merely fanciful. 


Returned travelers from Europe today tell things that are 
much more fanciful than Melville's Typee, the name taken 
from the valley that he described. Melville followed this 
with two other Marquesan books, Omoo and Mardi, but 
in these as in most follow-ups the material grew thin. 

As we mentioned, the uninitiate might easily imagine 
Typee to be a current book because the style is not out- 
dated. As a matter of fact, Frederick O'Brien in his White 
Shadows in the South Seas and Atolls of the Sun, much 
heralded in the 1920's, is a poor substitute for Melville 
and his Typee. O'Brien adds nothing to Melville, and 
does not even include as much. Concrete imagery, 
vividness, and fact are much better in Melville. O'Brien 
is too dangerously near the "oh" and "ah" condition, 
which lacks in explanation as it grows in exclamation. 
O'Brien does give us a faint picture of several white men 
who, in one decade or another, lived in the South Seas, 
among them the strange French painter, Paul Gauguin, 
but a better picture of this artist can be found in W. 
Somerset Maugham's The Moon and Six Pence, and in 
Gauguin's own book, Noa Noa. 

TAHITI AND PITGAIRN have been publicized most fre- 
quently today by the fine work of Messrs. C. B. Nordhoff 
and J. N. Hall, as the outgrowth of The Mutiny on the 
Bounty. There is no real plot to Typee or the O'Brien books, 
because they are in the form of personal narrative, but in 
The Mutiny, The Hurricane, et al., the most is made of 
story. It was my intention to confine this present discus- 
sion to personal narrative about the South Seas, but it is 
impossible not to include some fiction, particularly that 
of Nordhoff and Hall, where fiction most closely ap- 
proximates personal narrative, factual narrative, or 
native life and character. The Mutiny, of course, owes most 


to historical or factual narrative, and The Hurricane is a 
sincere and successful effort in artistically presenting and 
discussing native character. 

Tahiti, of course, is the island today that has suffered 
the greatest sea-change, through tourist ships. Rupert 
Brooke visited there before it was spoiled, and wrote 
about it in a series of poems. In his Tiare Tahiti, dated at 
Papeete in February, 1914, shortly before his death, 
appear these lines: 

"And there, on the Ideal Reef 

Thunders the Everlasting Sea! . . . 

Well this side of Paradise! . . . 

There's little comfort in the wise." 
Another poet, George Gordon Noel Byron, wrote about 
Tahiti and the band of Fletcher Christian. Byron's long 
poem about the mutineers of the Bounty was written in 
1823 under the title, The Island. It is really the story of 
George Stewart, one of the mutineers. As Byron wrote of 
him, he went by the name of Torquil and lived on the 
island with his native wife, Neuha, who saved him from 
an English ship that had come to take the mutineers. 
Neuha took Torquil to a sea cave on a neighboring island, 
and hid him until the ship departed. Ernest Hartley 
Coleridge, in his prefatory memoir to the works of Byron 
which he edited, indulges in a paragraph of critical -appre- 
ciation concerning The Island: 

Taken as a whole The Island portrays an exhaustion of the 
poetic energy. The lighter or facetious episodes are trivial, and 
seem to have been introduced to avoid monotony, and catch the 
magazine public. But there is a deeper and a tenderer note in 
the recital of the feasts, and loves, and wars, of the dwellers by 
the coral seas. . . . The "Songs of Toobonai" are plaintive 
with the memories of lost loves and vanished youth, of sights and 
scenes, "beloved before." The poetic vision has been purged by 
suffering and by experience. 


IT is FITTING AND PROPER that in the midst of these ro- 
mantic isles lies buried the greatest Romantic who car- 
ried on in a world of growing realism at the end of the 
nineteenth century. Facing the sea lies Robert Louis 
Stevenson, buried at his Vailima Plantation near the 
town of Apia, on Upolu Island in the Samoan group. 
He went there to die. Among all his romantic novels, why 
is there no story of Upolu Island, or some other South 
Sea isle, equally famous with Treasure Island? 

Stevenson, in his personal narrative called The South 
Seas, covers the greatest amount of territory, or rather 
ocean and islands, of all writers of the real South Seas. 
For years he journeyed and sojourned there. In this book 
he describes the voyages on the Casco, with Captain Otis 
commanding, to Nukuhiva in the Marquesas and Faka- 
rava in the Paumotus; and then on the trading schooner, 
Equator, with Captain Dennis Reid commanding, to the 
Gilbert Islands of Butaritari and Apemama. On the 
subject of Nukuhiva he has nothing of real significance to 
say, naturally enough, after Melville's book, but for the 
Paumotus and the Gilberts he has a wealth of material. 

Stevenson among the Gilberts and the Paumotus is the 
genuine artist at work, describing those low atolls of the 
sun, flat rims of coral, that in the South Seas number 
thousands and harbor peoples whose natures R. L. S. ap- 
praises with an artist's eye. When he decided to build a 
home in the South Seas, he chose a high or mountain 
island (with soil upon it, because the atolls have no top- 
soil, only sand), and in Letters to my Toung Friends, written 
to Austin Strong and other children, he drew a picture of 
life at his Vailima Plantation on Upolu Island in the 
Samoan group: the black boys, the appearance of his 
house, the journeys to neighboring chieftains, and the 
ships that came into the harbor. 


Let us turn for the moment to several works of fiction 
which Stevenson wrote. In a letter which he wrote to his 
friend, Sidney Colvin, under the date of Sunday, June 15, 
1893, Stevenson speaks of one of these stories as "the 
ever-to-be-execrated Ebb Tide, or Stevenson's Blooming 
Error." Although we realize that the author was thus 
characterizing the book in half playfulness rather than in 
whole seriousness, nevertheless we are at liberty to recog- 
nize in the remark the fact that a shadow, at least, of 
uncertainty occurred to him concerning the real worth 
of the story. There is little wonder that he was doubtful. 
Too often, in his fiction writing about the South Seas, 
Stevenson occupies himself with telling melodramatic 
stories about white men, and consigns the natives to an 
obscure and sketchy background. Compare Ebb Tide and 
The Beach of Falesa. They are simply Sire de Maletroifs 
Door placed in the South Sea Islands by mere physical 
super imposition. Of The Beach of Falesa and David Bal- 
four, Stevenson speaks with no uncertainty at all in saying 
that they "seem to be nearer what I mean than anything 
I have ever done; nearer what I mean by fiction; the 
nearest thing before was Kidnapped. I am not forgetting 
the Master of Ballantrae, but that lacked all pleasurable- 
ness, and hence was imperfect in essence." But it is not in 
Ebb Tide, or The Beach of Falesa, or other stories of The 
Island Nights' Entertainments, we suggest humbly, that 
Stevenson captures convincingly the South Seas as a 
genuine milieu. Rather it is in his travel books of personal 
narrative, such as The South Seas. 

The story of Ebb Tide is familiar enough, through the 
motion picture of the same title, as the picaresque account 
of three stranded white men, who steal a ship and plan 
to steal the wealth of a quite mad pearl trader on a lonely 
island. Native character is practically non-existent in it. 


And The Beach of Falesa is little better as another struggle 
between unprincipled white men who seek to gain an 
island monopoly of the copra trade, and carry out a very 
melodramatic plan. The natives in this story occupy a 
secondary and incidental place. The pitfall of Steven- 
son's formula whereby he writes a white man's story, 
placed physically upon native island ground, is avoided 
by Nordhoff and Hall who, in The Hurricane, present the 
brown man's story placed spiritually as well as physically 
on native island ground. This latter formula is much 
more convincing as a South Sea Island story, for The 
Hurricane portrays a native hero whose struggle develops 
from his own character which is indigenous to the place 
where he owes his being. 

Regarding literature of the South Seas, Stevenson 
wrote, "There are but two writers who have touched the 
South Seas with any genius, both Americans: Melville 
and Charles Warren Stoddard." 

IN HIS BOOK, South-Sea Idyls, Stoddard travels in the 
capacity of a chance or haphazard wanderer, and gives 
an account in nineteen chapters Of his personal travels in 
Tahiti and the Hawaiian Islands, centering around 1870. 
His style is that of the pastel artist rather than that of the 
diary writer or journal keeper, like Stevenson in The South 
Seas, or that of the realistic observer and narrator, like 
Melville in Typee. There is a tendency at times for Stod- 
dard to tumble into the "oh" and "ah" state of writing, 
and become exclamatory and rather naively apostrophic. 
It seems most likely that the high points of the South- 
Sea Idyls are to be found in the character portrayals of 
Kana-ana, of Joe of Lahaina, and of Hua Manu. Kana- 
ana was an Hawaiian youth from a quiet and remote 
valley. He attached himself to Stoddard, entertained 


him among his people for a long time, and then sailed 
with Stoddard for California where apparently civiliza- 
tion unbalanced him to such an extent that he pined 
away, and, on his return to his island valley, met an early 
death through a rash act. It was among the people of 
Kana-ana that Stoddard experienced the art of lomi-lomi, 
a kind of osteopathy and massage which he claimed to be 
a manipulation that was unbelievably beneficial to the 

Hua Manu, or the collector of birds' eggs, was a Pau- 
motuan youth from the island of Motu Hilo in the Low 
Archipelago. Together Hua Manu and Stoddard went 
pearl-fishing but were cast away in a great sea, and only 
rescued after Hua Manu gave his life for Stoddard. Joe 
of Lahaina in Hawaii was a less constant youth, but 
equally effervescent and evanescent in spirit. Generally, 
the individual natives that Stoddard emphasized in his 
account were outstanding in faithful devotion to the 
white man. It is their faithful devotion that serves as the 
prominent feature of the entire book. 

In a letter to Stoddard, William Dean Howells speaks 
of one chapter in particular from the South-Sea Idyls: "I 
remember very well my joy in A Prodigal in Tahiti, . . . 
and I think, now, that there are few such delicious bits of 
literature in the language." Despite the estimable opinion 
of Howells, a general reading of the book is likely to sug- 
gest that the "delicious bits" are to be found in the chap- 
ters already cited as rich in character portrayal, rather 
than in the choice of Howells, a chapter which is most 
aimless, sketching a rather colorless period of life in 
Tahiti when Stoddard was "on the beach," and contain- 
ing no really worthwhile contribution of South Sea life 
peculiar to the natives. 

Last, we come to Jack London who sailed to the South 


Seas, via the Hawaiian Islands, the Marquesas, Tahiti, 
and the Society Islands to the Solomon Islands. He 
started on this trip April 3, 1 907, sailing from San Fran- 
cisco on the Snark, and planning a trip around the world 
that was to take him even to the inland waters of Europe 
and America. However, when he reached the Solomons, 
ill health prevented the continuance of the voyage, and 
he was taken to a hospital in Australia. The Snark was his 
own, a ketch-rigged yacht, forty-three feet at the water- 
line, and equipped with auxiliary engines that, as he in- 
sisted, could never be coaxed to be auxiliary. 

Most of his book, The Cruise of the Snark, occupies itself 
with days at sea, with amateur navigation, or with life 
spent on board even in harbor, and so the account seldom 
gives us the reality of islands and their peoples. As a mat- 
ter of very sober fact, London was enthusiastic only about 
the Society Islands or rather two of them, Tahaa and 
Raiatea, near Tahiti. About Tahiti itself he said that he 
preferred to maintain a conspiracy of silence, and about 
the other islands visited he recorded very little that was 
definite. He was interested chiefly in the open sea and in 
his prowess as an amateur navigator. 

Islands, as started for the American public by the out- 
standing work of Melville, carries with it ostensibly a 
comparison of our own civilization with the island civili- 
zation. There are two conclusions that we should like to 

Our first conclusion is that this literature of escape 
southward deserves seriously to be viewed as one of the 
currents in the Back-to-Nature stream that has always 
had its ebb and flow through western civilization and 
literature. Rousseau, Burns, Wordsworth, and others 


come to mind immediately. In application to general life, 
the Back-to-Nature movement varies through the cen- 
turies. Seriously or not, it is in one century symbolized by 
the Dresden china shepherdess and other, alfresco, youths 
and maidens, or by the dairy village of Marie Antoinette 
at Versailles; in still another century by the 'rainbow in 
the sky" of Wordsworth; or in Shakespeare's time by his 
forest of Arden; or today by camping, nudism, life out- 
doors, hiking, or turning to the South Seas, and many 
other manifestations. 

Despite all these varied manifestations in all these 
different centuries, the idea is essentially the same: that a 
reasonable return to nature, to the life of simplicity, has 
appealed to man as a help or as a cure-all in many ills. 
And it was the idea of Melville, corroborated by Steven- 
son, Byron, and others, that the white man brought 
mainly death and destruction to the South Seas, and that 
the Pacific islanders had and have much to teach us in the 
way of social organization and behavior, in living to- 
gether. The same idea of the evil which the white man 
brings to the island people is repeated in 1938 in the book 
by Miguel Covarrubias, called Bali, one hundred years 
after Melville. 

The fact demonstrable from this idea by Melville is 
that the white man needs the sweet reasonableness neces- 
sary to learn a few lessons in life from other peoples who 
have been able to get along very well without him. This, 
among other things, the escape southward should teach 
us. And so our second conclusion is that there is more 
reality to this literature of escape southward than is ap- 
parent to those who view it as an opiate for the moment. 

The Interaction of Current Prob- 
lems and Constitutional Law 

Common Sense 
l and the Constitution 


A CONSTITUTION is AN INSTRUMENT of allocation of gov- 
ernmental powers, and usually, too, if not invari- 
ably, contains provisions for the protection of individual 
rights against abuse by government; but being an in- 
strument intended for long periods of duration, if not 
for permanence, it must necessarily be drawn in broad 
terms, laying down general principles, and cannot have 
the definiteness of a statute, which may be changed or re- 
pealed with relative ease. It is an instrument intended 
for guidance, must be applied to new and changing 
conditions, and must never be looked upon as a strait- 
jacket, especially if amendment is difficult. 

The Constitution of the United States is so admirable 
a document, and has served the country so well, largely 
because its framers were practical statesmen who were 
perfectly aware of the limits of the attainable under the 
conditions of their time, and prepared a fundamental 
law in the nature of a declaration of general principles, 
without endeavoring to bind future generations by at- 
tempting to settle in detail every conceivable existing 
question, or every question which they might have fore- 
seen. Much was left for interpretation in the future, to an 
orderly development of political and economic ideas, 



and the adjustments of time and place. The fact that all 
this was probably the result of compromise, and that 
more detail would have led to further controversies with 
the likelihood of disagreement, does not take away from 
the men of 1787 an iota of credit. 

The Supreme Court of the United States, the ultimate 
arbiter of constitutionality in the American Union as to 
most questions, at least in theory, and usually in prac- 
tice, if sometimes belatedly, has adhered to the tenets in- 

However, in the rather unusual prohibition case the 
Supreme Court quite forcefully took the position that 
where the intention of the constitutional provision is 
clear, there is no room for construction, and no excuse 
for interpretation or addition, and, what is perhaps even 
more important, that the Federal Constitution was writ- 
ten to be understood by the voter, and its words and 
phrases were used in their normal and ordinary, as dis- 
tinguished from technical, meaning. 

Nevertheless, plain as the language of the Constitution 
is, it requires interpretation and application, and it is 
obvious that one generation, living under certain indus- 
trial, economic, and political conditions, may interpret 
a given concept in one way, while a succeeding genera- 
tion, struggling through life under entirely different con- 
ditions, will interpret it in another way. A classic example 
is probably the concept of liberty of contract, a property 
right, and therefore protected by the Fifth and Four- 
teenth Amendments and their provisions that no person 
shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due 
process of law. 

In the earlier days of the country, and during the 
period when from a laissezfaire point of view there was 
much justification to believe and say that a man had the 


right to bargain and agree how many hours per day he 
may or may not work, it was natural to hold that legisla- 
tion prescribing minimum hours of labor deprives a man 
of liberty of contract. Today we know that a man looking 
for a job, with a starving family at home, has no equality 
of bargaining power, and in fact no freedom of con- 
tract, and therefore protective legislation is being upheld 
under the supervisory power of the state to guard the 
health, morals, and general welfare of the citizens, which 
we have come to call the police power, and which aims, 
or should aim, not to destroy freedom of contract, but 
rather to re-establish it. 

Considerations of this type lead necessarily to over- 
ruling of old precedents and to seeming inconsistencies in 
decisions, but as a matter of fact such apparent devia- 
tions from precedent usually are no more than the clos- 
ing, in so far as possible, of a lag between law and changed 
conditions; a lag which to a degree is inevitable, but 
which wise statesmanship seeks to make as small and 
narrow as possible. 

During the course of years by way of interpretation, 
a body of precedents is bound to arise, determined by 
conditions existing at a given time and a point of view 
prevailing at a given period, which lose validity and wis- 
dom as a result of developments quite beyond the power 
of mortal men, whether in legislative bodies, on the 
bench, or in the executive chair. It then becomes neces- 
sary either to amend the constitution by the prescribed 
process, and one which is not easy and should not be 
too easy, lest the fundamental law become not a frame- 
work of government, but a collection in the nature of 
statutes; or to re-examine the document and ascertain 
whether the hitherto governing decisions may not be 
overruled without doing violence to the nation's charter. 


And, of course, due regard must be had not to disturb 
lightly the chief attributes of any law, certainty and con- 
tinuity. Indeed, it may be a question of returning to the 
Constitution, not of disregarding it. Refinement of de- 
cision, piling of precedent upon precedent, may in itself 
lead us away from the obvious intent of what still re- 
mains, and for a long time is destined to be, a model 
charter of governmental power and of individual lib- 

The Supreme Court lately has been criticized, in pro- 
fessional circles chiefly, for overruling certain long estab- 
lished precedents, upsetting what had come to be ac- 
cepted as immutable doctrines. I prefer to believe that 
the Supreme Court has been re-examining the principles, 
some of them of permanent validity, and harmonizing its 
decisions with twentieth century conditions without 
doing violence to ideas and ideals which lie at the very 
foundations of the American Commonwealth. It may not 
be amiss to take a glance at the meaning of the Constitu- 
tion in some of its aspects, not only in the light of the lat- 
ter-day rulings of the Supreme Court, but also in the light 
of that common sense which was the chief quality of 
those who framed the Constitution and which also should 
be applied to any contemporary problem of government. 

THERE ARE STILL WITH us echoes of the controversy re- 
garding the eligibility of Senator Hugh Black to member- 
ship of the United States Supreme Court. It is something 
of a pity that the Supreme Court did not pass upon the 
real question involved, contenting itself with saying that 
those attacking the appointment did not have an interest 
substantial enough to entitle them to invoke the judicial 
power to determine the validity of the appointment. 
This gives rise to an interesting question: Does judicial 


power exist in cases of this type? Without invoking such 
precedents as exist concerning the problem, let us look 
at the question from a common-sense point of view, or, 
perhaps, as a broader problem of government, which it 

Suppose the Supreme Court did assume the power to 
pass upon the eligibility of its own member? In the first 
place, never would a full bench pass upon the problem, 
and the decision would be by those remaining on the 
bench following a vacancy, by a rump court, clearly an 
undesirable if not impossible situation. In the second 
place, the Court or what would be left of it, would be 
open to the charge that it is becoming, or may become, a 
self-perpetuating oligarchy, a situation which would not 
enhance the Court's standing. There are, however, con- 
siderations far more fundamental. 

It is a common assumption that all Constitutional 
questions are passed upon by the Court. This, however, is 
not true. The Court declines to pass, for instance, upon 
political questions such as recognition of foreign govern- 
ments and new states, and abides in such matters by the 
decision of the policy-making branches of the govern- 
ment. The executive and legislative departments are 
bound by the Constitution no less than the judiciary, and 
unconstitutionality is never presumed, the burden of 
showing unconstitutionality always being upon those 
who claim it. The power to nominate and, with the ad- 
vice and consent of the Senate, appoint judges of the Su- 
preme Court, is vested in the President, and it must be 
assumed that the President and the Senate in making 
appointments do consider the question of constitutional- 
ity; indeed, such consideration inheres in the appoint- 
ing and confirming function. 

Once a nomination is made and confirmed, constitu- 


tionality is passed upon by the Senate, which for such 
purposes is a part of the appointing power and sits, not as 
a legislative body, but as a Council of State. Can its ac- 
tion be reviewed by the Courts? I do not believe it can. 
It is conclusive as to all problems involved, and any other 
theory, or attempted action, for that matter, would pre- 
sent an encroachment upon the principle of separation 
of powers, which is fundamental in American Constitu- 
tional law. If the Senate and the President made an er- 
roneous decision, the precedent set by them need not be 
followed, even as judicial precedents are not always fol- 
lowed, and they may be called to responsibility by the 
electorate, but there is no judicial remedy for their ac- 
tion, no more than there is for many other matters. 

Mr. Justice Black was a member of the Senate when 
that body passed the Judiciary Act of 1937, a law making 
provision for the retirement and pensioning of Supreme 
Court Justices, and it was claimed that his appointment 
was contrary to the constitutional provision which reads: 
"No Senator or Representative shall, during the term for 
which he was elected, be appointed to any civil office un- 
der the authority of the United States, which shall have 
been created, or the emoluments whereof shall have been 
increased during such time." 

It was claimed that enabling justices to retire rather 
than resign, and to continue receiving compensation, is 
an increased advantage and therefore an increased 
emolument. But when the Senate confirmed Mr. Black 
it was tantamount to a conclusive decision that a retire- 
ment allowance of such nature was not the kind of 
emolument which was contemplated by the framers of 
the Constitution, and in Mr. Justice Black's case the 
matter became res judicata, and all there was left was that 
he present his commission to the Court. 


I am not discussing the matter in the light of such ju- 
dicial precedents as exist, but rather from what seem to 
me considerations of principle. Yet it is interesting to 
note that only recently the position so taken has received 
judicial support by the Supreme Court of the State of 
Washington involving the eligibility of a candidate for 
judge of a court of original jurisdiction under a state 
constitutional provision similar to the one found in the 
Federal Constitution. 

A member of the state legislature had voted for a 
statute providing for the retirement on half pay, out of a 
fund to be created by salary reductions and contribu- 
tions from the state treasury, of judges who have served 
eighteen years in the aggregate, or who, having served 
ten years in the aggregate, shall have attained the age of 
seventy years or have become incapacitated. An attempt 
was made to enjoin election authorities from placing a 
candidate's name upon the ticket, but the Supreme 
Court of Washington held that the constitutional pro- 
visions referred to do not apply because they do not in- 
crease the emoluments of office of a judge. The benefits 
contemplated are contingent and by no means certain 
and while in Washington it was a question of a six-year 
elective term, it still remains true that a similar line of 
reasoning is applicable in the case of a Justice of the 
United States Supreme Court. 

Another objection to Justice Black's appointment was 
based upon the claim that the statute of 1937 permitting 
the Supreme Court Justices to retire, as distinguished 
from resigning, is without constitutional sanction, and 
is therefore invalid, and that, by the same token, Mr. 
Justice Van Devanter's retirement did not create a 
vacancy and that eminent jurist is still a member of the 
highest national tribunal. 


I confess to little patience with the position that Mr. 
Justice Van Devanter's retirement did not create a va- 
cancy. The assertion, even now occasionally made, is 
contrary to common sense, and disregards the practice of 
all governments in filling vacancies caused by retire- 
ments. One could very well invoke here the principle 
stated by John Marshall in the Dartmouth College Case, 
to the effect that it is not enough to say that no such case 
was in the mind of the Constitutional Convention, but 
that it is necessary to show that "had this particular case 
been suggested the language would have been varied as 
to exclude it, or it would have been made a special 

Certainly it is an untenable position to maintain that 
the Constitution prevents the federal government from 
taking care of the nation's superannuated servants by 
providing for their retirement. If retirement does not 
create a vacancy, what is its effect? The question answers 
itself. It also is a general rule that while a legislature can- 
not declare a vacancy by a declaratory enactment to 
evade the Constitution, yet reasons for which an office 
will become vacant may, in the absence of a constitu- 
tional inhibition, be fixed by the legislature. (48 Corpus 
Juris 973.) 

This is not dealing with a dead issue, not only because 
the case of Mr. Justice Black is still the subject of discus- 
sion from person to person, in the press and in magazines, 
but also because it may be of some value to realize that 
in that case the President and the Senate did not delib- 
erately flout the Constitution and constitutional morality. 

A CONTROVERSY MORE IMPORTANT than eligibility of Su- 
preme Court Justices, though not as spectacular and 
noisy, has revolved around Article 1, Section 8, paragraph 


1 of the Constitution, granting Congress the power "to 
levy and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay 
the debts and provide for the common defense and gen- 
eral welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts 
and excises shall be uniform throughout the United 

A simple reading of the provision quoted, unobstructed 
by accretion of precedent and changing theories of gov- 
ernmental functions, clearly would seem to indicate that 
the object of the clause is two-fold; that is, (1) authorize 
Congress to collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, 
but (2) for certain purposes, namely, "to pay the debts 
and provide for the common defense, and general wel- 
fare of the United States." Thus the clause is both a 
grant and a limitation, but the limitation is within ex- 
tremely broad confines, especially as regards general 
welfare. Obviously, requirements of general welfare vary 
from generation to generation, and it is a question to be 
determined by the policy-making departments of the 
government, and at any rate primarily is not a judicial 
question at all. 

It will be remembered that in the Hoosac Mills Case, 
invalidating the original Agricultural Adjustment Act, 
the Supreme Court took a rather broad view of the tax- 
ing power of Congress under the general welfare clause, 
but in effect the legislation was upset because in the 
Court's view at the time, appropriation of funds to bene- 
fit agriculture was contrary to the Court's idea of general 
welfare. The object of the invalidated enactment was to 
protect the consumer by restoring to farmers the normal 
price of their crops and thus aiding general prosperity, 
while assessing the cost upon users of these crops by a 
"processing tax" which would not be felt by the general 
public when purchasing household and other supplies. 


The purpose as well as the method may be debatable 
as a matter of wisdom, but that it comes under the head- 
ing of pursuit of general welfare is hardly open to ques- 
tion. It is an equally tenable view that the welfare of the 
country, and maintenance of a healthy body politic, re- 
quire a prosperous agriculture, and that, therefore, Con- 
gress may levy taxes for this purpose. In any event, and 
again, whether it does or not is a question of policy to 
be determined by the legislative body and not by the 

Probably there are certain limits beyond which Con- 
gress could not go, and it hardly admits of doubt that it 
could not embrace within the concept of general welfare 
matters obviously and indisputably local. Once it is ad- 
mitted, however, that "general welfare" is a question of 
policy and legislative discretion, many a legislative act 
would not be touched by the courts on that ground. 

In the Social Security Cases the courts' reasoning, in 
Mr. Cardozo's opinion, is not far removed from the one 
here presented, and it may not be presumptuous to ex- 
press the belief that ultimately it may prevail. Whatever 
age-old cynicisms may be indulged in concerning legis- 
lative bodies, a certain amount of confidence and faith 
must be reposed in them if the democratic process is to 
survive, and that means, above all, determinations of 
problems of policy by those responsible to the electorate. 

IF ANY PROVISION of the Constitution was designed to 
make of the new Union a nation, and to prevent selfish, 
short-sighted and centrifugal forces from destroying it at 
the very beginning, it was the so-called commerce 
clause granting Congress the power "to regulate com- 
merce with foreign nations, and among the several states, 
and with the Indian tribes." 


Conditions simply forced an agreement giving the cen- 
tral government authority to regulate commercial mat- 
ters among the States and with foreign nations without re- 
moving from the power of the states matters of purely 
local interest and importance. It is a power which has 
been increasingly exercised with the growth of industry 
and commerce. 

Even a cursory consideration of the clause shows that 
it requires a determination of three questions: 1. What 
is commerce? 2. What is commerce among the several 
states? 3. What is regulation? It is obvious that while 
the power is always the same, the nature of commerce 
necessarily changes and therefore also the necessities of 

In the very beginning the Supreme Court under John 
Marshall took a very broad view of what commerce is. 
The Court declined to rule that commerce is merely 
purchase, sale, and exchange of commodities, and in the 
landmark case of Gibbons vs. Ogden, declared that 
"commerce undoubtedly is traffic, but it is something 
more, it is intercourse. It describes the commercial 
intercourse between nations, in all its branches, and is 
regulated by prescribing rules for carrying on that inter- 


At one time the courts came close to limiting the scope 
of the word "commerce" to transportation between the 
states, and to that extent deviated from the definition of 
Gibbons vs. Ogden. This was done by holding that com- 
merce does not begin until in some fashion transporta- 
tion has commenced, and that, as declared in the 
well-known Knight Case, "commerce succeeds to man- 
ufacture, and is not a part of it." This position obviously 
became untenable and in course of time was refined away 
until in the so-called Wagner Act cases the National 


Labor Relations Act was upheld and it was established 
that the provision applies to a manufacturer whose 
materials are obtained from other states and whose prod- 
ucts are sold principally in other states. 

Few will deny that such a manufacturer is engaged in 
intercourse and therefore in commerce among the several 
states. Yet it will be remembered that prior to the ruling 
of the Supreme Court a committee of forty-eight eminent 
members of the Bar in voluminous brief declared the 
National Labor Relations Act unconstitutional, and it 
must be admitted that a large portion of the Bar was sur- 
prised by the decision. What, of course, most lawyers did 
was to consider only certain decisions and not the Con- 
stitution itself as well as plain facts, while the Supreme 
Court went back to the fundamental law and the doc- 
trine of John Marshall in Gibbons vs. Ogden, and also re- 
appraised the idea of commerce in a realistic and thor- 
oughly modern and statesmanlike fashion. 

Ordinarily there should be relatively little difficulty 
in deciding when a concern is engaged in interstate com- 
merce, or in transactions directly affecting such com- 
merce. It is, frequently, more or less a question of degree 
and therefore of point of view, and absolute consistency 
of decision is hardly attainable. Nevertheless, if legis- 
lative judgment is respected and facts always consid- 
ered, the courts in the future will give effect to the inter- 
state commerce clause as a unifying factor and not an 
obstacle to national action in spheres wherein only na- 
tional action can bring about a desired remedy. 

It has been a long established doctrine that Congress 
may prohibit the use of instruments of commerce for im- 
moral or illegal purposes, such as the dissemination of 
lottery tickets, transportation of stolen automobiles or 
women into White Slavery, but now the Supreme Court 


in the National Labor Relations Act cases has in effect 
emphatically laid down the rule that the power to regu- 
late commerce is the power to enact all appropriate leg- 
islation for its protection and advancement, to adopt 
measures to promote its growth and to insure its safety, 
and to foster, protect, and restrain. Congress may now 
step in whenever commerce among states is threatened 
with injurious actions, such as obstructions caused by 
disturbances in manufacturers' plants. 

It was on this ground that the court upheld the Wag- 
ner Act, which prohibits employers from interfering, or 
coercing employees, by discrimination with regard to 
hire and tenure of employment, from exercising the rights 
of self-organization and of collective bargaining through 
representatives of their own choosing. Labor troubles 
may obstruct, and in the past have obstructed, interstate 
commerce, and therefore Congress may take measures 
to bring about their elimination. 

It is entirely tenable to argue that diversities of legis- 
lation regulating child labor affect interstate commerce 
in that they make for inequality of competition in manu- 
facturers' products. At one time it was held that a federal 
law prohibiting the transportation of articles manufac- 
tured by child labor in one state to another was invalid 
because it was an attempt to regulate labor in the state 
of origin and really not a regulation of interstate com- 
merce. It should not be surprising if the future courts 
will uphold legislation making for equality of commercial 
opportunity among the states. Thus properly drafted 
child labor laws may be upheld, and it is now probable 
that the Hours and Wages Act will be sustained. 

The problem will always be to paraphrase the language 
of the Court in the Wagner Act cases, whether intra- 
state activities have so close and substantial a relation 


to interstate commerce that their control is essential or 
appropriate to protect that commerce from burdens and 
obstructions, and that, necessarily, is a question of 
degree; but that many obstacles have been removed to 
constructive congressional legislation, appears quite 
clear, and from the standpoint of economic and social 
progress is all to the good. In any event, this is not a mat- 
ter for refinements and where these have accumulated 
they should be and are being brushed aside by the 
courts themselves. As a matter of common sense we 
know what is interstate commerce and what directly 
affects it. Where there is a legitimate difference of opin- 
ion, in what may be termed the twilight zone, the judg- 
ment of policy-making branches of the government 
should be the determining factor and the courts should, 
and usually do, yield to such judgment. 

DEBATES AS TO THE NATURE of the Union in its inception 
are today of historical interest only, and it is now settled 
that federal authority is supreme when operating within 
its constitutional grant of power. The problem of deter- 
mining this sphere of authority is, however, frequently 
difficult, and has led to a variety of opinions and even 
conflicting decisions. One of the results of the doctrine, 
or rather, fact, of federal supremacy within the constitu- 
tion, is what is known as immunity of federal agencies 
from state taxation. The states have no constitutional 
power to levy taxes upon agencies or instrumentalities 
created by the United States for the purpose of carrying 
on its powers and functions under the constitution. 

This principle has been settled ever since the frequently 
cited case of McCulloch vs. Maryland in an opinion by 
John Marshall. That case, however, involved the consti- 
tutionality of the law of Maryland imposing a tax upon 


the circulation of the Bank of the United States and even 
of the power of the government to establish the Bank 
itself. It must be conceded that the Bank was an instru- 
mentality of the United States and that therefore to tax 
its circulation was an attempt to tax a federal agency. 
Later, however, the principle was extended so far as to 
hold that compensation of an officer of the United 
States could not be taxed. 

Is a tax upon a salary the same thing as taxing the 
instrumentality? The argument has always been that by 
high taxes states could cripple the activities of the federal 
government, and even now it is within the knowledge of 
this writer that at least in one state, owing to severe 
taxation, governmental agencies would have difficulties 
in finding capable men willing to take positions in the 
commonwealth in question. 

That, however, does not do away with the fact that 
no tax is imposed upon the source of income, if that in- 
come, once received, is made subject to a tax. No one 
argues that employers in private life are taxed when their 
employees are subjected to taxation, and there is no 
reason to take a different position concerning govern- 
mental salaries. After all, something must be left to the 
good sense of legislators, even in the field of taxation. 

The states cannot tax federal agencies, and the con- 
verse of this proposition is equally true: i.e., the federal 
government cannot tax state agencies. This rule, too, was 
extended to mean that the federal government could not 
levy taxes upon the salaries of state officials. Here again 
it must be pointed out that a tax upon income is not a 
tax upon the one paying the income, certainly not in the 
legal sense. A tax is simply an obligation of citizenship 
imposed upon the taxpayer in support of the govern- 
ment whose protection is enjoyed by him in return. 


This point of view is beginning to prevail, and lately 
the Supreme Court has upheld a state tax upon the 
salary of an official of the Home and Loan Corporation. 
The question still remains open whether taxes may be 
levied upon income of officials of what are known as 
agencies performing essential governmental functions. 
In the writer's view this distinction is immaterial, for, to 
repeat, an agency is not taxed when a tax is imposed upon 
a salary of its officials. 

Parenthetically it might be added that conceptions of 
governmental function in any event vary from time to 
time. Education and maintenance of schools is today a 
duty of the state, but only a little more than a hundred 
years ago that was not the prevailing opinion. 

Somewhat similar considerations arise when we weigh 
the effect of the Sixteenth Amendment providing for 
income taxes u from whatever source derived." This 
amendment was adopted as a result of the well known 
Pollock case which held such taxes to be direct taxes and 
therefore unconstitutional under the provision that "no 
. . . direct tax shall be laid, unless in proportion to the 
census or enumeration," directed to be taken elsewhere in 
the Constitution. 

But in the case of Evans against Gore the court took 
the position that the income tax did not apply to salaries 
of federal judges because that would be a diminution of 
salary prohibited by the Constitution. The theory of the 
decision is that the 1 6th Amendment did not extend the 
taxing power to new subjects, but only makes possible 
income taxes without apportionment among states ac- 
cording to population, and that the purpose of the 1 6th 
Amendment was no more than to avoid the consequences 
of the Pollock decision. 

May it not be said, however, that this decision was the 


cause of the 16th Amendment, and that the Amendment 
was not designed merely to obviate its results, but rather 
to make possible taxation of all income regardless of 
source? Certainly, the sweeping language of the Amend- 
ment "from whatever source derived," - hardly per- 
mits of any other conclusion. At the time, the court quite 
naturally had in mind the Pollock decision and therefore 
its ruling is understandable, but it would seem that now 
the time has come to give effect to the language of the 
Amendment "from whatever source derived." l 

In this connection, too, we are presented with the per- 
fectly legitimate question, "Can a tax in any legal, or 
even ordinary sense, be considered a diminution of 
salary?" A tax may be said to affect one's net income, 
but generally speaking in no walk of life is it looked upon 
as a reduction of salary or wages. 

As to taxation of income from government securities, 
such as bonds, the 16th Amendment is broad enough to 
cover these too. That, at the very least, Congress may 
give consent to such levies, and that by the same token 
states may consent to taxation of state securities, seems 
now to be admitted by many. 

I am not arguing for the wisdom or lack of wisdom of 
any form of taxation, in effect now or proposed. It does 
seem, however, that limitations upon the taxing power 
are not as stringent as was until recently believed, and the 

1 After the completion of this article, the Supreme Court ruled in the case of 
O'Malley vs. Woodrough that a federal judge where appointment was subsequent 
to the enactment of a statute imposing federal income tax on, inter alia, the com- 
pensation of "judges of courts of the United States taking office after" a certain 
date, is within the operation of the statute. While it is true that, strictly speaking, 
this discussion applies only to judges appointed following the adoption of the 
legislation referred to, the court, through Mr. Justice Frankfurter, broadly de- 
clares that "to subject them (the judges) to a general tax is merely to recognize 
that judges are also citizens, and that their particular function in government 
does not generate an immunity from sharing with their fellow citizens the mate- 
rial burden of the government whose Constitution and laws they are charged with 
administering . ' ' 


wisdom of most forms of taxation must be left to the good 
sense of the people's representatives and their respon- 
siveness to public opinion. 

THE QUESTION OF ALLEGED encroachment of the federal 
government upon the domain of the states gives rise, 
lately, to frequent criticisms. I think research in this field 
would show that recent legislation, including that de- 
clared invalid, in no way has decreased the constitutional, 
the legal power of the states. In the constitutional sense 
they have as much power as they always had, certainly 
since the Civil War, and this power in no respect has been 
diminished, except perhaps in fields where they can act 
unless the federal government legitimately steps in, in 
which case state legislation is suspended. 

This, however, can hardly be called a reduction of 
power, or invasion of the rights of the states, because in 
such instances, for example, regulation of bankruptcies, 
the federal government has exercised power which it 
always possessed, but heretofore did not choose to exert. 
Invoking power potentially in existence does not deprive 
the commonwealths of rights which they could assert only 
by sufferance. 

Largely owing to integration of American nationality, 
and the unifying processes of industry and economic 
forces generally, the federal government has been forced 
to exercise power hitherto dormant, but existing never- 
theless. From that it does not necessarily follow, however, 
that the constitutional domain of the commonwealths 
has been invaded. Federal power has grown by resort to 
grants expressly and impliedly conferred by the Consti- 
tution; it overshadows state power just as the nation over- 
shadows any individual state, but in the constitutional 
sense state power has not been reduced. 


Legislation seeking cooperation of state governments 
is not an invasion of constitutional rights. Thus the Social 
Security Act of August 14, 1935, defines the minimum 
criteria to which a state unemployment relief system 
must conform if an employer's contribution thereto is to 
be accepted as a credit on the tax imposed on him by the 
Social Security Act. 

Some of these criteria are designed to give assurance 
that the state unemployment compensation law shall be 
one in substance as well as in name, and others are de- 
signed to protect contributions against loss by imposing 
the condition that the state law shall direct that contribu- 
tions to the state fund be paid over immediately to the 
Secretary of the Treasury to be held in trust by him and 
invested in obligations of, or guaranteed by, the United 
States. To prevent diversion of funds it is further pro- 
vided that all money withdrawn from the unemployment 
trust fund shall be used solely in the payment of com- 
pensation, exclusive of expenses of administration, and 
that all compensation shall be paid through public em- 
ployment offices in the state or such other agencies as the 
Social Security Board may approve. 

The Social Security Act was attacked on the ground 
that it was an invasion of states' rights, more particularly, 
of the Tenth Amendment to the federal constitution that 
"the powers not delegated to the United States by the 
Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are re- 
served to the states respectively, or to the people." The 
Supreme Court refused to adopt this view, holding that 
legally speaking the Act coerces no one; that it is, rather, 
a question of inducement and cooperation of the states 
with the federal government. The soundness of the posi- 
tion can hardly be questioned, especially if we have in 
mind the analogy with international law, that treaties 


and agreements entered into by consent are not in 
derogation of sovereignty. 

What has been here said is a little more than a presen- 
tation of a point of view, without the usual lawyer's 
weapon, an array of authorities and citations. In any 
event, it is the writer's belief that the recent trend of de- 
cisions is nothing to be alarmed about. The Constitution 
still stands, and has not been refined away by legal or 
other sophistries, and being the exceptionally admirable 
document that it is, it will continue to serve the American 
people for a long time to come. 


Griselda Green 


Griselda Green was married to a man 

Who gave her love, and much of it, but not 

The whole of the affection his to give; 

And this Griselda knew and loved him still 

While springs greened into summers and then reddened 

Before the wintry latter years of life. 

His love was like that, so Griselda mused, 

A seasonal cycle many times repeated 

With many women, but he always came 

Back to Griselda' ] s comforting arms when winter 

Had aged the current cycle into snows 

That froze illusions duplicated yearly 

And sure, come spring, to blossom somewhere else. 

At fast her Stephen's love affairs caused ripples 

Of whispers in the subterranean channels 

Of gossip, that soon overflowed and lapped 

The feet of his Griselda, and then people 

Awaited with keen eagerness her despair. 

But they were disappointed, for Griselda, 

Employed in patting pancakes into flatness 

As if they were the rumors she had heard, 

Proceeded to authenticate those rumors 

And scandalized the saintly scandalmongers 

By sowing seeds of other rumors still 

About her Stephen and some other woman 

Whose very name the gossips had not heard. 

A cat, then? No, indeed, not our Griselda, 

Whose dark eyes shone with love for him she slandered 



With not a trace of animosity: 

She simply wanted them to know she knew 

And that she loved him and that he loved her. 

"He likes the meals I cook him" she pursued; 

"I don't believe he would, were I to serve 

The same old dish for breakfast, and again 

For dinner, and for supper every day. 

A single woman, after all, is just 

A single dish and there are quite as many 

New dishes as new women in the world; 

And God has given man an appetite 

For varied dishes; and what God has given, 

Let no man find fault with, nor with my Stephen" 

And when they marvelled that she didn't mind 

His aberrations, she replied she did, 

Just as she'd much prefer he'd not be bald 

Nor so pot-bellied as he soon would be 

And had not been in times that she remembered; 

But there was not so much that he could do 

About his belly and about his head, 

Nor very much about his wandering love, 

Though he could starve it as he might his belly, 

But here she paused with something in her eyes 

Too sacred to be twisted into words 

She would not have a husband hungry-eyed, 

Subsisting on a diet of oatmeal 

Or gnawing bones like some old hungry dog 

Whose mistress feeds him with her meagre leavings, 

"And does he tell you all about these women?" 

A pert young modern housewife asked her here. 

And then Griselda smiled that patient smile 

That might have made her, but somehow did not, 

The laughingstock of half the folks who knew her. 

''Ah no," she said, with gentle condescension, 


66 He does not need to tell me, and he knows it, 
For he and God and I know many things 
That silence plays a sweet accompaniment to. 
They tell me that in Heaven no one hungers, 
And there I hope that he and God and I 
May sing a trio that will need no fourth 
To constitute the quartets Stephen found 
Essential to his singing here on earth." 
And when I get to Heaven, if I do, 
I think that I shall find that she was right, 
This Stephen Green's impossible Griselda. 

For a Fallen Comrade 


You were the fast thing that I saw after 
I opened my eyes and the last thing before 
I closed them. 

Here in the still-birth of silence 
the face lies down in the pillow's death-mask. 
The window shade is belly-big with breeze. 
Back and forth its edges saw on star 
like the creaking of some grief -gate closing, 
like the wrench of whistle-wails, their mob-sobs. 

Wind out of dream, branches weaving moonlight, 

heaving branches, spell some sign of him 

in the moorfs jargon in April-streets, dark April. 

See there, the breaking shadows of the bloom 


On the deep doom-side of house 
a cloudy voice drifts down the dark like a 
dream-word whose syllables are spelled by stars. 


But one word is beautiful over all the sky, 
"Comrade . . . Comrade." 

The throbbing threnody 
of taxi motor harangues us up the heavy 
hill where sprawl the strings of street lights 
that peck at the sky like whores' kisses., 
where pink bits oj signs proclaim the places 
where we poke fingers in penny pieces oj candy 
(saccharine perspectives oj our joys 
finger-poked, pulled out of place), sit sipping 
soda, sibilant ly discussing dreams 
artist-daubed like dawn embalmed in red 
gouache by Matisse, or strings of Picasso's guitar 
gnawing people to pieces of what they are 
such as the woman who kneeled 
varicose veins to her ancestral tree 
and took the Cosmopolitan weekly at her door. 
( The middle class, fading like old magazine- 
cover moons), the decay-song the thunder-voice 
sang that summer afternoon, "Roses 
in Picardy" which met with much applause 
from the ants' thunder-tickling crawls 
across the sidewalks. 

comrade you have fallen 
in the lighted line of sun-gunnery, trying to 
restore these ruins, to restore day to some midnight 
where we walk girls home and stars hang heavy 
and low, and the silhouettes of suburban homes 
along the heart-breakingly clean streets are 
faded dream-prints (Along the deep 
doom-side of house the cloudy voice drifts down) 
and the trees with branches sawed off to the stiffs 


of thumbs upbolted like white leeches blood- 
sucking heavens heavy-breasted oj stars. 

This is not for the axe-stare eyes oj those 
who at hour penultimate to dawn await 
the eternal eventide oj drawn swords. 
For them the drum-roll-rattle of dead leaves, 
The armies of shadows camping in the streets, 
but not the breaking shadows ghost-begotten. 

Let us say to them, " We carry a new world 

here in our hearts. That world is growing this moment" 

And as it grows its whisper stirs our bones. 

In the spring, stir the infirm ones whose broken 

heels dance tap-dirges in the streets. 

Lift up, world-breaking shadows in heaving 

branches where now winds weep the first thing in 

our eyes after we open them, and, weaving, 

unfurl the slow heart-scarlet of our banners. 

Beyond this sunset muffled guns salute 

the last thing in our eyes before we close them. 



Who can say that mountains are permanent, 
That the sea shall not some day spill 
At the edge of an imaged world? 

We are small, we see things measured 
By lenses of fog ground thickly 
And bordered with arc-ed horizons 
That do not exist at all; 


We are atoms, nebulous fractions 
Of what? violet distance, 
What ray holds the living answer, 
The positive act and negative 
Creating apparent wholes? 

Who shall say that sea tides rising 
Must fall again when the moon 
No longer drinks salty water? 

So sure, so compact, so ended 
At last where we just begin; 
So final and yet how reaching 
For something we seem to know 
Exists where the fog is breaking; 
So dry in spite of the constant 
Struggle for creation, 
Ignorant where most learned, 
Failing when most sure. 

Time has no measured precedent; 
Irrevocable, no meaning. 
Vision but what is vision? 
The forming of a symbol 
That may not exist at all? 

Distance contains the answer, 
Whatever be answer and distance; 
Atoms reflect the meaning, 
The spark, the ray, the creation: 
The ultimate clew is power 
Reflecting an unknown source. 

Say that all things are impermanent 
Or spilling yet wherefor spilling, 
With no edge and no solid world? 


From a Mountain-Top 


The valleys darken. The villages darken, the white spire rises last 
above the trees. The little lights blink on 
like halted fireflies, quivering in clusters. 

The small lakes far below drown in their lifting mist, the rivers 
wind into silver sleep. The valleys darken, 
the villages darken, but the street-lamps stay 

shaking their valiant pin-pricks against the monstrous night. 
Far ranges darken, the low hills darken, firs 
here on the fierce slope climb the cloudless air. 

The upper peak, the shattered rock that cleaves the northward sky 

remains alone untaken by the darkness 

and splits our hearts as they were constellations. 

Old Stone-Cutter 

His gravestones are his everlasting children. 
He loves to get his cramped left hand around 
the solid faithful feeling of his chisel 
and dig the names of those below the ground 

or the family names of provident ones above 
who cross their fingers and defy the fates 
and acknowledge death their enemy and master 
by ordering headstones with their birthing dates. 

He carves his holy head, a solemn cherub 
with granite wings and childish eyes cast down. 
Those who prefer a willowed urn, disliking 
angels, can go and die in another town. 



The Woodsman to His Love 

How in that deep wood trembled 
bronze leaf and tender shoot 
under the gust, delivered 
from the grey maple root; 

how in the spruce-light quivered, 
perfect and singular 
out of leaf -trash, wind-flower's 
low flve-petalled star; 

how the white-throat discovered 
green thickets of afternoon, 
and the far thrush spoke cooler 
slow color than the moon; 

how, in first summer, mosses 
foretold relentless frost; 
how we lay in fern at midnight, - 
remember, or I am lost. 


The Room 1926-1 928 


We separate beings married dwell 

In one dull room and none can tell 

How from opposing tides of earth 

A world within a world has birth. 

Tet in life's core I see the storm 

That shatters down the dream, the weight 

Of what is lost in silent hate, 

The enemy of form and form 

In one dull room. Two faces meet 

And smile, two eyes two others greet, 


Lips fondly tell each other fate 
Must give release or suffocate. 
And in the room two bodies twine., 
Pig cupid and his concubine, 
The form resolved, the form malign, 
You call me yours, I call you mine. 

While out of doors the voices say: 
Time placates; it is nature's way 
To cheer the progress of decay. 
You cannot love. Time has begun. 
The form's divided: one is one. 

Let time placate the damned, not me 
Who see within love's lechery 
The hotbed of eternity 
And time's only potent enemy. 

Emily Dickinson 


Strange was the blessing of her tear 
That hungered in no earthly frame; 
Whose lucky loss encountered Time 
Within the human walls of fear; 

Whose gift of light was that desire 
To wake no human lover's hands, 
But hold four corners of the mind, 
As yielding as the hands of fire. 

The daily sessions of her eyes 
Crept down through dawns of remotest suns; 
Small store of things she wished her own 
Whose journey slipped through paradise. 


Burning Leaves 


Last night the southwest wind shook through the trees 

And sheared them of golden leaves. The gutters 

Are choked, and all the garden is covered 

With golden drifts. I would liked to have seen 

Them falling one leaf on the other slowly 

Til a wind-swell brought them down in torrents. 

Destruction, in season, can be beautiful. 

It was time for the leaves to befalling; 

There would have been pleasure in watching them. 

To-morrow I will be burning the leaf drifts. 

It would be worse to leave them in the garden 

To rot and blacken in the rain and snow. 

Fire is the purest and most beautiful 

Destroyer in nature. The leaves will have 

A clean, quick death, and death in its going 

Can be beautiful. I will be glad to see 

The skeletons of trees shake down their last 

Leaves upon the smoking, golden drifts. 

The crackle of burning leaves is a sharp 

And poignant music, and blue smoke in my 

Nostrils has the sweetest scent of autumn. 

The destruction will be beautiful 

In going until the fa e has seared 

Color from the leaf veins and the embers 

Lie dead among the stones. The signs of burning 

Are not lovely, and afterwards I will 

Wish I had left the leaves in the garden. 

The fire stains will stay on stone and ground 

All winter till spring comes to undo destruction. 


How Lonely Often Walk . . . 


How lonely often walk the god-like kin 
The Thorn-set paths that must be trod for fame, 
Where equal peril lies in praise or blame, 
And private folly reads like public sin. 
Restrained from love and laughter while within 
Still surges ardent blood of youth like flame, 
When age finds solace it is not the same 
Quick rapture that the seekers hoped to win. 

Omniscience has a grandeur all its own, 
And probing minds and hearts a certain lure; 
But neither breeds immunity from pain, 
And knowledge reconciles but leaves more lone 
Its holders, who accept one law as sure: 
Progression comes through loss as well as gain. 

Beauty's Culmination 


Beauty^ s end ends not in sight 
(although seeing sees no end) 
beauty's end ends in the mind 
where anything may wage high. 

Beauty has no lasting cease 
(explorers can not explore) 
beauty enters to replete 
extension for our mental leap. 


Beauty resolves to be there 
(tetrahedrons suggest this) 
resolves to be timely shared 
by the time no time declares. 

By the impetus of thought 
(beauty hunts no finer home) 
by the impetus of law 
beauty 7 s end ends not at all. 

Travails of the Penurious 
American Artist 

Pinocchio on the Dole 


THIS is A SUCCESS STORY with a twist the record of a 
young man who rose socially and financially through 
a series of rebuffs so severe that they would have left one 
of a different calibre bowed in abject shame. The pattern 
was set by Horatio Alger whose perennial young man 
discovered a well-filled wallet on the steps of the Astor 
House. Fortune first smiled on our hero when he too 
discovered his wallet almost on the same spot in Astor 
Place. The wallet in the form of a relief station belonged 
to the richest old man of modern times, his own Uncle 

Just what Francis Richards did in the way of making a 
living prior to 1933 is not quite clear not even, any 
longer, to Francis himself. At that time, however, there is 
a certainty that he was doing nothing. His worldly pos- 
sessions in the fall of that year consisted of one suit of 
clothes, one hat, one necktie, one shirt, one toothbrush, 
one pocket comb, a tall stack of Varieties, and an equally 
bulky collection of songs, poems, vaudeville skits, and 
various ideas, thoughts and inspirations all scrawled 
on soiled yellow paper by his own large and not quite 
legible hand. 

His literary works, or those of them which he was not 



carrying about with him in all his various pockets, were 
carefully hidden in a corner of the cellar where a speak- 
easy proprietor locked up his home-made wine and 
grappa. It was in this speak-easy, too, that Francis 
Richards acquired not only his artistic inspiration, but 
at least one free meal a day, almost as much sour red 
wine as he wanted to drink, and whatever tips the patrons 
were willing to give him for running errands for them. 
And it was in the speak-easy that he slept, on a bed com- 
posed simply of three chairs and his overcoat, on those 
nights when he was unable to persuade some new ac- 
quaintance that he would make an ideal week-end vis- 

Francis Richards, however, must not be confused with 
the ordinary, common variety of bum. He was usually 
clean, and except when truculently drunk, eager to please 
and to entertain. And what gave him vast respect in his 
own eyes was his connection with the theatre. Though 
this connection had never been more tangible, or more 
remunerative, than a two weeks' engagement with an 
amateur group in Brooklyn, Francis 5 identification of 
himself with all the arts of Thespis was wholehearted. 
He not only read his Variety from back to front every 
week and the theatrical notes in the morning tabloids 
as soon as he was awake each afternoon, but he was for- 
ever contriving new song-and-dance routines. He was 
never at all niggardly about exhibiting these to Luigi's 
patrons. Anyone obviously and gregariously buying and 
paying for stronger drinks than wines and beers would 
inevitably be treated to the number Francis had composed 
in honor of Calvin Coolidge and had never bothered to 
edit during subsequent administrations because until 
October, 1933, his oblivion to any news that did not 
appear on the theatrical pages of his tabloids was so 


complete that he scarcely knew that those presidential 
upheavals had occurred. 

IT WAS IN THAT MONTH, however, that Francis read in 
Variety that the federal government through the Civil 
Works Administration was planning to sponsor a Theat- 
rical Project. He learned further that federal actors ex- 
pected to be paid $36 a week. Francis then knew that 
the opportunity he had always expected would soon be 
his. To hasten its arrival, he registered with National 
Re-employment Service which, so Variety also said, had 
been designated as the "referral agency" for the CWA. 
Within a few weeks Francis Richards' name had been 
added to CWA's rapidly expanding pay roll but not 
at $36 a week. Francis Richards, among thousands of 
others, had been assigned the task of tidying up New 
York City's parks. He was supposed to work 120 hours 
a month for $67.20. 

Francis was disappointed and he was angry. His gov- 
ernment, he felt, had betrayed his talents and his long 
years of preparation. To even the score, he worked just 
as little as he was obliged to, which was none. Reluc- 
tantly he left his improvised bed early enough to sign the 
time-sheet in the morning and waited around until 
he might sign it again in the afternoon except, of 
course, when nights before made rising at all an effort 
too painful to contemplate. On those days, unless Francis 
found someone willing to scrawl his name for him, he 
missed his pay. Twice his foreman warned him that he 
might be discharged. But Francis didn't worry and he 
wasn't fired, but honorably dismissed when the CWA 
was abruptly terminated in March, 1934, because Presi- 
dent Roosevelt sincerely promised the taxpayers that his 
Administration was quitting the "business of relief." 


Francis returned gratefully to the more restful life of the 

By now, however, another Rooseveltian change was 
beginning to affect the nation. The forces of repeal were 
catching up with those speak-easies which had so long 
escaped the forces of prohibition. Luigi, unable to afford 
the licences required of legal dispensers of liquor, moved 
his wine and his grappa to a small room behind a cigar 
store. Most of his business was with longshoremen on 
their way to the docks in the early morning. Such cus- 
tomers had small use for Francis' talents and were of 
little value to him. He barely subsisted on the meals that 
Luigi cooked for two of them over a single gas-burner. 
And then Francis had an accident. 

Late one rainy, slippery night he was carrying three 
bottles of wine from Luigi to a former patron when he was 
struck down by an automobile. At the hospital to which 
the car's owner carried him, he discovered that his left 
leg had been fractured just below the knee and that he 
must remain in bed for several months. The lawyer, 
who took his case on a fifty-fifty basis, had to spend time 
and ingenuity in getting a settlement for him. It was 
almost as difficult for him to prove that Francis' injury- 
would interfere with his accustomed way of life as it was 
easy for the car owner to prove by the hospital's records 
that Francis was intoxicated at the time of the accident. 
But the settlement had been accomplished by the time 
his leg was taken from its cast. When Francis Richards 
walked the streets again, a well man though a slightly 
lame one, with his debts to the hospital and to his lawyer 
paid off, he had in his possession upwards of fifteen hun- 
dred dollars. 

His former speak-easy companions were amazed when 
Francis did not immediately spread this money in bars 


and taverns. Instead he turned it over almost intact to 
a female relative in the suburbs, who, so he was heard 
to say, invested it in real estate. For himself Francis 
rented a small furnished room, lived modestly and so- 
berly, and began once more to scribble on yellow paper. 
His friends thought their long suspicions of Francis' sanity 
were being proved, but Francis was merely preparing 
for what he was now certain would soon be his a good 
job with the proposed Federal Theatre. 

DURING THE TIME he had been in the hospital and on 
CWA, Francis 5 body might have been quiescent but not 
his mind. The information about the proposed Works 
Progress Administration, which he got from the daily 
papers, he had supplemented by the practical knowledge 
that he had gleaned from his associates in the ward and 
in the park concerning this business of relief. The whole 
he had formulated into a sure-fire plan for achieving 
his life's ambition. He knew that through the WPA the 
federal government was again preparing to do something 
handsome for its unemployed actors this time to a 
tune played on millions of dollars. And he knew exactly 
how to get his bit in the chorus. 

Though the Comptroller General did not approve the 
Federal Theatre's first millions until the middle of Sep- 
tember, 1935, Francis had by then taken definite and 
irrevocable steps toward gaining his share of this allot- 
ment. He had let his room rent lapse for two weeks and 
had applied for relief at the Single Men's Bureau of 
New York City's Emergency Home Relief Bureau. He 
applied at exactly the right time. Had he, a single, un- 
attached male, with a residence no more stable than a 
back-room speak-easy, asked for public succor earlier, 
he would not have been accepted on the home relief 


rolls. Instead, he would have been given a ticket for a 
night's rest at the Municipal Lodging House and a book 
of coupons entitling him to eat at some community dis- 
pensary for a week, and then set adrift again. Had he 
offered his application two months later, even his ac- 
ceptance on the home relief rolls might not have assured 
his WPA job. But the date of his asking for a dole showed, 
as he himself expressed it, perfect timing. 

In the spring of 1935, when the golden flood of WPA 
money was first released from Washington, a single, un- 
attached man had just as much right to receive regular 
relief in his own furnished room as did a man with seven 
dependents threatened with eviction from his home. And 
by the rules of the Works Progress Administration those 
who were on the local relief rolls prior to May 1st were 
to be given preference on WPA jobs. Francis' plan, it 
seemed, would soon bear fruit. The only trouble was 
that it began to bear sooner than he expected, and once 
more it seemed to Francis to be of the small garden va- 
riety that in all his public appearances he could never 
learn to take. 

In his concentration upon the glorious rumors con- 
cerning the Federal Theatre, Francis had overlooked 
those less glamorous WPA projects which Mayor La 
Guardia, in order to reduce New York's staggering relief 
load, had persuaded Washington to start earlier. Yet on 
the 10th of August, 1935, a whole month before the idea 
of a Federal Theatre was officially and financially ap- 
proved, Francis Richards was again summoned for work 
by the National Re-employment Service. "If it means 
leaf-raking again," he told himself, "I'll just tell them 
where to place their horrid old rake." 

But it was park-cleaning to which he was assigned this 
time, recreation work at $21.60 a week. And the nature 


of his labors, as Francis understood them, rather appealed 
to the pleasure-dispensing side of his nature. His duty, 
as it was explained to him by fellow workers who were 
assigned to the same project and seemed to know what 
they were talking about, would be to go from hospital to 
hospital, treating the children and grown-ups in them to 
an exhibition of his talents in much the same way 
that he had entertained Luigi's patrons in the good old 
days when home-made wine and off-the-boat whiskey 
flowed freely. It seemed to Francis as good a way as any 
to get himself in training for his eventual performances 
for the Federal Theatre, so he reported for work with 
considerable enthusiasm. 

BUT FRANCIS DID NOT, as he had anticipated, flit gayly 
from one institution to another, bestowing happiness as 
he flitted. He was assigned to a single hospital, one that 
administered solely to persons who were maimed and 
crippled. His duty as one of several Recreation Aides 
was to assist a Recreation Leader in teaching one-legged 
men how to run races on crutches. He stood it as long as 
he could, which was almost two months. Then he re- 
turned to Aunt Martha in the country. 

He had been there three weeks when he read in 
Variety that a unit of the Federal Theatre had actually 
been established in New York. He took the next train for 
the city and reported, as soon as he could locate it, at 
the project's headquarters, where he learned to his con- 
sternation that the mere fact that he had once been on 
home relief no longer assured his immediate employ- 
ment as an actor. Now that the task of certifying WPA eli- 
gibility had been transferred from the National Re-em- 
ployment Service to the Employment Section of the 
Home Relief Bureau, his referral papers would have to 


come from the particular ERB office of which he was a 
client. But Francis was no longer an active home relief 
client. His case had been officially "closed" and wiped 
from the records the very day that WPA first requisi- 
tioned him. 

Francis needed several weeks of intense thinking at 
Aunt Martha's to plan himself out of this impasse. But 
by the time he again rented a room in New York he 
knew just what he was going to do reestablish his 
WPA eligibility by applying for home relief all over 
again, and from the very same house where he had first 
obtained it. He knew that was wiser than having a new 
address and a phony name and giving the WPA a 
chance to pin a lie on him. 

The Single Men's Bureau was crowded the day he 
returned there, for as soon as it became generally under- 
stood that a home relief status was the prime requisite 
for a WPA job, new applicants rushed the New York 
district offices at the rate of two and three thousand a 
day. Francis had to wait three weeks for his new home 
investigator to come to his room and make him repeat 
the life story which he had already recited so often that 
it now seemed perfectly true. When the investigator 
asked about his last employment, Francis said boldly 
that it had been on WPA. This was a little risky he knew 
- for it might seem a little strange that one could quit 
work relief after only two months and yet live adequately 
for six weeks more but not nearly so dangerous, he 
was sure, as denying his WPA connection and having 
the ERB records prove it against him. Anyway, he was 
all set for the investigator's inevitable next question: 
" Why was the employment terminated?" 

"Because," Francis said, "of my leg. It was broken 
some time ago while I was still acting and it gives me 


trouble whenever I exercise too strenuously. I was put 
on a recreational project where I had to run races, and 
the effort was too much for me." 

Francis did not, of course, need to mention the con- 
dition of the legs of those who ran with him. And the 
investigator accepted his story sympathetically. Within 
two days his name again embellished the active home 
relief rolls. 

When he was summoned to the ERB employment 
office a week later, he was very firm about the fact that 
his only former working experience had been upon the 
stage. He went to bed that night quite sure that the 
Federal Theatre would soon requisition his talents. But 
it didn't, not at least for a long, long time and until 
Francis had gone through many more WPA experiences. 
When his next requisition came through, it again as- 
signed him to recreation work. This time, though, he 
was sent not to a hospital but to a settlement house 
where his task really had some connection with enter- 
tainment. He was to tell original stories to a bunch of 
small boys. 

DURING DECEMBER AND JANUARY Francis loved his work. 
Throughout February he still endured it. But when the 
first hint of spring smote New York toward the end of 
March he was transferred from the recreation hall of the 
settlement house to its outdoor playground. Here he 
was supposed to propel tiny tots in swings and pick them 
up when they tumbled off the slides and climbing bars. 
Francis stood it almost until the end of April. Then for 
the second time he left the WPA and for the third time 
applied for home relief. He was a bit worried about quit- 
ting now, for he figured that the stiffness in his leg was 
almost as great an asset as the actual cash he had re- 


ceived for its injury. Also he knew that the soldiers' bonus 
would be paid within two months, and Francis, because 
he had been on a hospital ship during the final year of 
the war, had some seven hundred dollars coming to him. 

His bonus had no effect on his relief status, but Francis 
did not turn this over to Aunt Martha as he had the 
money from his accident. During the two years that he 
had been intermittently employed by the government, 
his standard of living had increased to a pitch where the 
$15 that the ERB sent him regularly every other week 
was no longer adequate to his simple wants. This allot- 
ment, supplemented by his bonus, served him well for a 
year, however, and he settled down once more for pre- 
paring for his debut in the Federal Theatre. But during 
1937, a rumor spread abroad in the land that prosperity 
was returning and less money need be spent upon relief. 
The Federal Theatre was unable to employ any new ac- 
tors; instead it had to let off many that had already been 
assigned to it. But before his bonus money was finally 
exhausted, Luigi once more came to his aid. 

Luigi had at last given up his singlehanded, ruggedly 
individual revolt against repeal, and had become as- 
sistant bartender for a cheap gaudy little cellar cafe 
which boasted, besides the serving of drinks and sand- 
wiches, a piano player, a crooner and two eccentric 
dancers. It also needed a doorman who for very little pay 
would be willing to cavort conspicuously enough outside 
to attract customers down its dingy stairway. Luigi passed 
on this information to Francis. 

All through the summer of 1937, dressed in a clown's 
costume and receiving a dollar a night and three drinks 
when he went off duty, Francis jigged and whirled and 
capered outside the Village Circus. His disguise kept him 
from worrying about any snoopy relief investigator dis- 


covering that he had an outside job and curtailing his 
allowance. When the cafe failed in the fall, the proprietor 
still owed him a week's wages, so Francis felt justified in 
keeping his clown's costume when he settled down for 
another cozy winter of home relief. 

But now he had about given up the idea of ever land- 
ing on the Federal Theatre, so he was considerably an- 
noyed one day in October to find a card on the hall table 
of his rooming house summoning him to the ERB em- 
ployment office once more because, although Francis 
didn't know it at the time, the Administration had de- 
cided that those rumors about prosperity's return were 
somewhat premature and that it had better increase 
WPA's allotments for a while. This requisition was to 
WPA's educational division, and for six days Francis 
conscientiously ignored it. But when he learned that 
WPA teachers got more than a hundred dollars a 
month, he thought he might as well look into it. He got 
his certification card from the relief station and sought 
out the project supervisor who had to pass on his quali- 
fications as a teacher of Adult Education. 

The supervisor was pretty nasty. "That requisition has 
been closed for three days," she said. "Why didn't you 
come here last week?" 

And Francis, before he realized that he might be en- 
dangering his relief status for all time, got nasty right 
back at her. "I'm glad it is," and he stamped his foot as 
he said it. "I'm tired of pandering to dirty little children. 
I'm no nurse-maid. I am a clown." 

Francis was immediately chagrined that he should 
have described himself so. What he had meant to say, of 
course, was that he was an actor, but his capers of the 
last few months and his present anger had confused him. 
Yet at the word "clown" a change had come over the 


supervisor. She now regarded Francis not as a lazy relief 
loafer but as the answer to an educational project's 

"A clown?" she repeated, "Are you really? And have 
you by any chance a clown's costume of your own?" 

"I have," Francis replied, getting his dignity back 

"Why, that's splendid," the supervisor said, "simply 
splendid. And you have your relief certification with 
you? Then we can put you to work right away. You see 
we need a picture of a clown badly to complete a series 
that we have been making for our work in Visual Edu- 
cation. But our original requisition for materials did not 
include a clown's costume and for weeks the series has 
been held up." 

FOR FOUR MONTHS Francis Richards had his picture taken 
every day by a WPA photographer. And he loved it. 
When the photographer had all of the clown pictures that 
he could possibly use, Francis was given other costumes 
and he impersonated other characters. He was in turn a 
rough-rider, a traffic cop, a Canadian mountie and a 
French aristocrat proudly facing the guillotine. It was a 
perfect four months, but it ended abruptly when the 
project was discontinued because it cost too much. 
Francis was not dismissed from WPA then, however, but 
put on "referral" - that no man's land of relief work, 
where one gets paid by the government for performing 
no more difficult labor than signing a time-sheet once 
each day. 

While other dopes who were on referral with him spent 
the rest of their working days rushing from one office to 
another trying to get re-assignments, Francis, seasoned 
WPA-er that he had now become, spent his time, and 


the twenty-three dollars that still came to him regularly 
each Friday, in the bars around Sheridan Square. He 
didn't worry, and he had little need to. Within less than 
a month his dream came true; the Federal Theatre 
actually requisitioned him. 

The theatrical supervisor who interviewed him was 
delighted with his pantomimic ability and his singing 
voice. Not in the children at the settlement house, nor 
even in the most genial customers at the Circus and at 
Luigi's, had Francis found such a sympathetic audience. 
Yet one thing marred his happiness. During the four 
years since his accident Francis, wandering about Sheri- 
dan Square at night, had taken several bad falls. After 
each one his leg had grown stiffer. By now Francis was 
really lame too lame to tap-dance or turn cart-wheels 
or even walk gracefully upon a stage. 

But he allowed himself only a minute to remark rue- 
fully upon the irony of it all. Then the habit of a dozen 
years came back to him. From his overcoat pockets, his 
jacket pockets, his shirt pocket and his pants pockets he 
began to extract frayed and soiled yellow papers, covered 
with his penciled scrawl. Carefully and with dignity he 
laid these on the supervisor's desk. "They are," he ex- 
plained, "a few of my literary efforts. Perhaps they might 
be of use to you." 

"Why not read a few of them, yourself?" the supervisor 
asked him. And Francis did. He not only read, but sang 
and declaimed and laughed heartily in just the right 
places. The supervisor was entranced. Francis, he said, 
was just the person they needed. His was the simple gift 
of wholesome, truly American humor so essential to the 
intimate review the Project was planning. A special as- 
signment went through for him that very day. 

The next five months were the very happiest in Francis 


Richards' entire existence. His working hours were taken 
care of in the most satisfactory way. Since it was con- 
ceded that he would need the greatest possible amount of 
freedom in composing his skits and lyrics, he was allowed 
to work at home. He signed an individual time-sheet 
every day and brought a week's batch of them to the 
office to be okayed each Wednesday when he had to be 
on hand anyway in order to sign his project's "physical 
check" - the added safe-guard by which WPA officials 
convince themselves that each employee is actually 
working at the very spot to which he is officially assigned. 
So strongly did Francis' genius possess him when it at 
last got this recognition that during this first week with 
the Federal Theatre he locked himself in his room for 
three whole days and forebade his astonished landlady 
ever to clean it again for fear that with her sweeping 
and dusting she might dislodge some of his precious 
papers. This protracted bout with his Muse left Francis 
exhausted and dry-tongued, so he at once sought out a 
friendly tavern. There a wonderful thought came to him. 
Those bundles of papers which were once stored in Luigi's 
cellar and which he still carefully preserved, need not be 
wasted. They could serve the Federal Theatre as once 
they had served Luigi's customers. Even if he turned in 
as many as three skits or songs each week, which was 
more than required of him, he would still have enough, 
he calculated rapidly, to last him five years. 

HE SOON DEVISED a novel and elaborate means of deciding 
which compositions to submit within which week. He 
made his selection on the basis of a complex astrological 
chart. It worked splendidly. And Francis Richards rose 
in the esteem of his supervisors. But he rose too rapidly 
and too far. He was promoted. He stopped being a writer 


and became an editor. He no longer had to copy one of 
his own compositions each week, but to read and criti- 
cize dozens that had been written by other project work- 
ers. This was a real obstacle, but Francis got around it. 

He had a friend who had once been one of Luigi's most 
prosperous and generous customers but who was now, so 
Francis had learned when he sought to borrow a few 
dollars from him, on home relief and unable to get a 
WPA job. This friend was a Pole whose knowledge of 
English was scant and whose dislike of the theatre was so 
intense that during the bright nights at Luigi's he would 
treat Francis to drinks only when he promised not to re- 
cite and sing. Yet Joseph Pudeski, Francis remembered, 
was an intelligent man, he still possessed a rather bat- 
tered typewriter, and he was no longer able to buy drinks 
even for himself. So as soon as he had reduced his edi- 
torial duties to a formula, Francis called upon Joseph 
with a pint of whiskey in his pocket and asked to use his 

As the whiskey and reminiscences of Luigi's mellowed 
the bitterness which Joseph now habitually felt over the 
meanness of his life, Francis began to explain his own 
job to him. He said that it was so easy that he bet if 
Joseph tried he could edit these Federal Theatre skits 
himself. Joseph tried and Francis discovered that he 
could. Thereafter he called upon Joseph every Tuesday 
night with the pint of whiskey in his pocket. And each 
time when he left the pocket that had held the whiskey 
contained enough neatly typed criticisms to fulfill his 
weekly assignment. 

Things went on in this pleasant way until the early 
summer of 1939. Then two dreadful things happened to 
Francis Richards. Joseph Pudeski got a job, and such a 
good one that he no longer welcomed Francis' weekly 


visits. And Congress decided to dispense with the Federal 
Theatre and to dismiss all WPA employees who had 
worked steadily for eighteen months. Francis was sure 
that his days of serving Uncle Sam with culture were over. 
But they weren't, for Congress just in time remembered 
the brave boys who had worn uniforms in 1917-18 and 
decided they could stay on WPA even though their work 
on it had been steady. 

On the day the Federal theatres closed Francis went 
again to a recreation project. But this time, because of 
his previous experience, he went as a supervisor at $138 a 
month. Now in the day time he sits behind a large desk 
in a noisy office and has two stenographers to copy his 
reports. Most of his nights and week-ends are still spent 
in the bars around Sheridan Square. But every so often 
on Sundays he goes out to Aunt Martha's to make sure 
that the house which she is keeping for him against the 
the day when the federal government stops supporting 
those '" who are out of work through no fault of their own" 
is still there. 

A Man Waits Years 
To Win Despair 

Defeat Deferred 


SHE WAS TWENTY-TWO and he twenty-five when they 

The war in Cuba was over and the first contingent of 
the Rough Riders returned to New York. Lucia Ward 
had gone down to the pier alone to meet her brother. 
Lieutenant Ramsey; her husband, as usual, pleading 
business as a reason for not going with her. That was 
how she happened to meet William Ross. 

Ross, some few may now recall, was the brilliant 
young American journalist who, with his Cuban mes- 
sage, gave the world its first insight into the struggle of 
our oppressed Latin neighbors. He had known Bob 
Ramsey casually at Princeton, and ran across him again 
in Santiago. During their return voyage to New York 
together they made tentative plans for a trip to the 

Ramsey stopped for a week with his sister before 
going on to his home in Boston ... a week in which 
Lucia Ward and William Ross forgot many things in the 
learning of one: that, whenever humans attempt to 
regulate too thoroughly their emotions, nature steps in. 

There was, during that week when they were thrown 
constantly together, no moment when either would have 



admitted the advisability of breaking off their friend- 
ship. Both were quite sure of themselves . . . until it 
was too late. 

Lucia Ward had been vaguely aware, since the birth 
of the younger of her two children, of a void in her life. 
Her home was managed smoothly by capable servants, 
every material need was satisfied. But she was a woman, 
with a woman's emotions, and these, in an increasing 
absorption in his business, her husband had, apparently, 
long since ceased to consider. It was not until her friend- 
ship with Ross grew into something more than casual 
friendship that Lucia, herself, became fully aware of this. 

"I can't leave him," she told Ross, "I really can't! He 
has been a good husband ... a good father. And there 
are the children to consider." 

"But you're not happy with him!" 

"I wasn't unhappy . . . until you came," she re- 
minded him. 

Ross sat in silence for a long moment. "Will you be 
happy with him," he asked at last, "when I have gone?" 

She shook her head slowly. "No. But he will ... be 
happy . . . and the children will." She looked at him 
sadly. "You are going . . . ?" 

He shrugged his shoulders. "What else can I do? I 
can't stay here and . . . be just your friend." 

"We are friends." 

"I know. . . ." 

"And I need you. I want you . . . tremendously." 

They both sat, victims of their complex emotions, lost 
in the turmoil of their thoughts. Finally Lucia looked up. 
"I'm selfish," she said. "I have no right to ask you to 
stay . . . to ask anything of you. But ... I shall miss 

So Ross remained. 


THE YEARS WENT BY, their inevitable passage dulling 
somewhat the early brilliancy of Ross' work. The prom- 
ise given by his journalism in the Spanish War was still 
but a promise, unfulfilled. The books that had been 
logically expected to follow his volume on Latin America 
remained unwritten. For his field was clearly foreign 
journalism, a field upon which he had turned his back. 

His work in New York held but little interest for him. 
It was, at best, a stop-gap the means to an end. Yet 
what this end was remained problematic. With the full 
realization of the sacrifices and cost entailed, he gave 
himself over to his love for Lucia. 

Always there was the outside world to consider. They 
rarely knew in advance when they could be together. 
They bent their united efforts toward an arrangement 
whereby they might make use of each precious moment. 
Only one of them, they discovered, could live a social life 
independent of the other, and because Ross was the 
freer of the two, because he had neither home duties nor 
inescapable social obligations, it fell to him to conform 
his life to hers. There was no question of the one domi- 
nating the other, it was simply a matter of the two sur- 
mounting, as best they could, the obstacles confronting 

It wasn't easy. In the first place there was his living to 
be considered, work that threw him in constant contact 
with people. By nature gregarious, Ross made friends 
quickly; a considerate adaptability on his part kept 
them. He liked to have these friends drop in on him 
casually, but this he soon found to be dangerous. 

There were innumerable evenings during that first 
year following his return to New York when Lucia would 
telephone that she was, unexpectedly, free for a few 
hours. Usually it was Friday, the night her husband was 


in the habit of spending at his club. Sometimes when 
this happened he was unable, because of some group 
gathered at his place, to take advantage of the opportu- 
nity presented. Whenever this occurred he was unable to 
rid himself of a poignant sense of loss. The moments when 
they could be together seemed so short, so fleeting, that 
he could not reconcile himself to the loss of even one. 

Then, too, Lucia herself was never able to feel quite 
at ease in his apartment while there was always the pos- 
sibility of someone dropping in. At times it all seemed 
much too difficult. 

In an attempt to offset this, Ross took a small room at 
his college club where, to the outside world, he con- 
tinued to live. It was an added expense he could ill 
afford. It enabled him, however, to maintain in strict 
privacy a little apartment in the East Fifties. 

Lucia was, in a way, pleased by the idea but, at the 
same time, could not help feeling somewhat distressed. 

"It was sweet of you," she said, "but you shouldn't 
have done it. If only you would let me help you . . . 
share the expense. . . ." 

He stopped her quickly. After a moment she went on. 
"I don't want to be the cause of shutting you off from 
your friends. . . ." 

"You aren't. . . ." 

She shook her head. "I'm taking so much from you 
. . . and, it seems to me, giving you nothing." 

"You are giving me everything. The only real happi- 
ness I have ever known." 

"Am I so very selfish, William? Wouldn't I, if I loved 
you as tremendously as I think I do, be willing to chuck 
everything . . . and go away . . . with you? For- 
getting my home . . . my children. ..." 

"Gould you?" 


Again she shook her head. "No. And yet . . . you 
mean everything to me." 


She spread her hands in a hopeless gesture. "It 
seems so to me . . . when we are together. Yet my chil- 
dren mean everything to me, too. I can't leave them 
... I don't want to hurt them. I couldn't. They need 
me ... as much as I need them ... as much as I 
need you. . . ." 

"You have me." 

"Not as I should like to have you." 

"Won't you . . . sometime?" 

"I hope so, I do hope so. Later . . . when the chil- 
dren have grown up and married . . . when they no 
longer need me. ... It seems as though things must, 
eventually, work themselves out right." 

"And, in the meantime, I want you to be happy 
. . . and gay ... I want you to have everything in 
life. . . ." 

"But I have everything . . . now." 


The Cuban message was still remembered, although 
the man who wrote it had very nearly been forgotten. 
Not quite, however. At the club one night he found wait- 
ing for him a note from Maynard, of The Courier, asking 
him to drop into the office. This was on an evening soon 
after the assassination at Sarajevo. Two hours later he 
was closeted with Maynard, who asked him briefly who 
he would like to go to Europe. 

"It looks like a free-for-all. No one seems to know how 
long it will last. May be over before you get there but, 
naturally, we don't want to miss any bets. We're sending 
Doane to Italy, Phillips and Edwards to France, North- 


way and Green to Germany . . . and a few others on 
loose assignments. How would you like to go to Belgium?" 

"Why pick on me?" 

"I believe you could do it. I expected a lot of things 
from you after the Spanish War. I'm still expecting 
them . . . God knows why you haven't come through. 
Why haven't you? Never mind . . . none of my busi- 
ness, I suppose. . . . 

"If there's a war, and it looks as though there will be, 
most of the fighting will be in Belgium. That's where 
you'll find the color. You'll have the same chance there 
you had in Cuba. Well . . . how about it?" 

"I'll think it over," Ross said at last, "and let you 
know tomorrow." 

"Think! What the hell's there to think about? You 
never used to hesitate. All right ... all right!" May- 
nard waved his hand irritably as Ross started to speak. 
"Only let me know before noon." 

Walking back to his apartment Ross turned the offer 
over in his mind. He wished that there were some way of 
getting hold of Lucia that night, and cursed again the 
force of circumstance that kept them apart. The same 
chance he had had in Cuba. ... He hadn't, somehow, 
done much with that . . . with the opportunities that 
had followed it, rather. 

Another chance. 

He wandered impatiently about his rooms through 
the early hours of the morning, waiting until he could 
call Lucia. It was necessary, he told her, that he see her 
at once. Something in the suppressed tension of his voice 
warned her. When, half an hour later, she entered the 
apartment she said quickly, breathlessly, "What is it, 

"They want me to go to France." 


Sitting down on the arm of her chair he related his 
interview of the night before with Maynard. 

"Are you going?" 

He threw his hands out wide in a gesture of indecision. 
"I don't know ... I don't know what to do. What do 
you say?" 

Without looking at him she said slowly, "I want you 
to do what is best." 

"What is best?" 

"Whatever will make you happiest." 

He laughed mirthlessly. "You know what that is." 

She did not answer. Running her finger tips lightly 
over the back of his hand she said at last, "I've kept you 
close to me all these years. I made you stay . . . once 
before. This time I shan't be so weak ... so selfish. 
But ... I shall miss you." She sank quickly into his 

Ross remained. 

HE REMAINED in the ever-narrowing groove that ran to 
and from the apartment in the East Fifties to Park Row, 
where daily he ground out half-thought out editorials to 
be half-read and half-understood by the masses. Always 
in the back of his mind was Lucia, influencing every 
mood and move. With the passage of years his love for 
her had deepened and mellowed. Would it, he won- 
dered, remain forever unbroached . . . turn at last to 
lees . . . untasted . . . forgotten. . . . 

At times, alone with his thoughts at night, he was 
deviled with a perverse feeling of disquietude. Knowing 
as he did that Lucia and her husband, while living under 
the same roof, were emotionally strangers; having, for 
sixteen long years, known this, he was still unable to 
accept the situation calmly. Sensitive as he was to her 


utter desirability, it seemed incomprehensible to him 
that another man should remain oblivious to it. 

In the vague depths of his inner consciousness he was 
aware of a lurking fear that some day John Ward would 

Only once did Lucia refer to his refusal of Maynard's 

"You would love to have gone, too, wouldn't you?" 
she said one night, as they sat reading together Davis 5 
story of the German entry into Brussels. "Are you sorry?" 

"In a way . . . naturally." 

"I've kept you from everything, haven't I?" 

He smiled reassuringly down at her. "Not really. I 
wanted to stay, you know . . . with you. And I'll go 
. . . we'll go together, someday . . . later." 

"I hope so ... I'm always hoping so. The children 
will be grown, and leaving me soon, I suppose. And 
then . . . perhaps . . . John doesn't need me . . . 
hasn't needed me for years." 

Three years later Ross was glad that he hadn't gone, 
for Lucia needed him then, needed him more than ever. 
That was following the dispatch about her son's death 
in France. 

IT WAS ON THE AFTERNOON of Lucia's birthday. 

As they lingered over tea in a secluded restaurant 
William Ross realized suddenly that she was fifty-seven, 
and he he himself was nearly sixty-one. He decided 
not to mention the fact. The last ten years had gone 

So much had happened. Marion, Lucia's daughter, 
had married married a fine chap, too. Seemed su- 
premely happy and you couldn't wish anyone more 
than that. 


And John Ward - - John had pulled himself together 
again. The shock of his son's death had been a severe 
one, coming as it did during the business tension of war 
time. For six years he had been a semi-invalid, only to 
come doggedly out of it in the end. 

As for Lucia and himself well, here they were, still 
waiting. They had waited so long and would continue 
to wait -- . 

And suddenly he wondered what it was they were 
waiting for. 


"Yes, dear. . . ." 

"It's odd, not realizing it sooner, but . . ." he hesi- 
tated, and smiled ruefully at her across the table. 

"But what . . .?" she prompted. 

"We needn't wait any longer." And, in answer to the 
puzzled expression on her face, he went on, "We're free 
. . . at last." 


"Why, yes. Marion is married. John is well once more. 
There isn't, now, anything to keep you." 

She looked at him in silence for a while. "No," she 
admitted at last, "I suppose there isn't." 

"We can go away. , . ." 


"Of course. Europe. The south of France. Anywhere." 

She smiled tenderly at him for a moment. "We must 
be practical. What could you do there?" 


"We'd have to have money to live on. And you've 
never saved very much, you know. I'm sorry," she 
reached out and covered his hand with hers. "I don't 
mean to hurt you. But . . . well, it's true, isn't it?" 

He nodded his head reluctantly. 


"We could stay on here," he suggested uncertainly, 
"if you could get a divorce. . . ." 

"That's almost as impossible, now. And then, too, 
you have no more than enough for you, yourself, to live 
on. . . ." As he sat, saying nothing, she continued 
softly, "It may sound hard, William, but I don't mean it 
to. Money should not matter . . . but somehow it 
does. We're not as young as we once were. . . ." 

"I should have prepared for this a long time ago." 

"It's not your fault, dear." 

"I wonder. I didn't, I suppose, make the most of my 

"You made the years very happy for me." 

He sat lost in reflection. It was not the things he had 
done he regretted, so much as the things he had left un- 
done. The thought awakened half-forgotten memories. 
That, he now remembered, was where John Ward had 
failed ... in the things left undone. He smiled ironi- 
cally, and raised his eyes to Lucia's. 

"Please, William, don't be bitter," she pleaded. 
"Nothing has changed." 

"Nor ever will." 

He summoned their waitress and paid the check. Out 
on the sidewalk he hailed a passing taxi, and helped 
Lucia in. "About tonight? . . . it's Friday," he asked, 
standing by the open door. 

Lucia leaned forward. "I'm not sure yet. Don't stand 
there with your hat off, dear, you'll be catching cold. I'm 
not sure what the plans are. I'll have to telephone you, 
after dinner." 

Ross watched her taxi disappear into the traffic across 
the avenue. Turning, he walked slowly down to his club, 
and mounted up to the tiny room he had used so seldom. 
He rang for hot water and lemon. 


An hour later found him seated again in the same res- 
taurant where he had dined so often. The same table - 
the same waiter. 

"The roast beef and Yorkshire pudding is excellent 
tonight, Sir." 

"Good." It always was excellent, it always had been 
excellent, he supposed it always would be excellent. 

He ate alone in silence, and then walked back to his 

Wandering aimlessly from the living room to the bed- 
room and back again, he sat down at last in the worn 
armchair facing the gas log that had never ceased to 
irritate him. 

His gaze, straying listlessly about, fell at last on the 
bookcase, centered on a worn volume on the top shelf. 
The Weary West Indies by William Ross. He smiled again. 

Without turning he picked up a volume from the table 
beside him. He looked at the cover. Romance by Joseph 

Presently the telephone rang. 

Career Man of the New Deal 

Robert H. Jackson 


THE CHANCE of politics may yet do great things for 
the New Deal's most charming career man Robert 
Houghwout Jackson. Although the post he now occupies 
is as obscure as it is important, the present Solicitor 
General of the United States is by no means a forgotten 

Given the right support his extraordinary talents, 
his delightful personality, his flexible philosophy, and 
his dependable integrity may yet be counted among the 
most valuable political assets in the New Deal's impend- 
ing struggle for self preservation. 

Not long ago the President, in one of his whimsical 
moods, suggested that there must be a dozen charming 
young men quite willing to carry the New Deal banner 
after 1940. Every Washington columnist at once placed 
Bob Jackson's name near the top of the list. His name 
keeps creeping into the various political polls that confuse 
the public. Some soothsayers have gone so far as to say 
that he is the personal if not the political choice of Mr. 
Roosevelt himself as his successor to the great white 

Whatever fate may have in store for him advance- 
ment or retirement to his up-state New York farm the 



last six years of his life have been crammed with excite- 
ment and achievement. They have revealed him as one 
of the most competent advocates on the New Deal rolls. 
It was he who scourged the late Andrew H. Mellon for 
evading his income tax payments; it was he who gave 
point to the New Deal philosophy of restraint of finance 
and industry. He transcended his journalistic appelation 
of Trust Buster Number One. 

Bob Jackson has worked for the Internal Revenue 
bureau, for the Treasury department, for the Securities 
and Exchange commission, and for the Justice depart- 
ment. Now he is the second most important law officer 
on the Federal pay roll. In these positions he proved 
himself one of the best legalists in a lawyer-ridden New 

But more important than his many victories and 
his few defeats in the courts has been his concurrent 
development of a philosophy deeply imbedded in the 
traditions of democracy. 

Because he has discovered no reason to disbelieve in the 
present system of political democracy, he has sought 
means for its survival. This, he believes, has been the 
purpose of the New Deal. All his many attacks on Big 
Business have been directed to this purpose. In simple 
terms, he believes in the necessity of the profit system to 
keep our inherited system of private enterprise going. 
The government's duty is to keep the system in working 

But this must never be done at the expense of a politi- 
cal democracy, any more than Government should 
settle its policies in terms of economics alone. Economics 
and politics are inseparable, but when politics ceases 
to function as a conditioner of economics, then the system 
fails, and the people may be expected to seek a substitute 


that will presumably work to their distinct disadvantage. 

Bob Jackson once stated the essence of his philosophy 
when he said, simply: "Any system, to survive, must feed 
its people." 

Many a businessman has become choleric at mention 
of Bob Jackson's name. They like to think he is a disciple 
of the Corcoran-Cohen school of politics whose chief aim, 
in their distorted minds, is to rid the country of business 
altogether. They base their hatred on his several assaults 
on the citadels of bigness; but any study of Bob Jackson's 
career reveals that when he spoke up sharply, as he did 
two years ago against monopoly, he had no intention of 
starting an old-fashioned trust- busting revival. 

That, he knew, would arrive nowhere quickly. He did 
not wish to summon those who had "priced themselves 
out of a market and priced themselves into a slump," as 
he succinctly charged, into a police court. What he 
proposed and what, under Thurman W. Arnold, may 
eventuate, was a stream-lined investigation into the 
relationship of industry to democracy whence might 
evolve a workable understanding. 

"So long as the American spirit lives," he once told 
Mr. Wendell H. Willkie in a debate, "and democracy 
survives, so that its spirit can be expressed in law, the 
American Congress will be trying to break down the 
concentration of power just as fast as the imperialists of 
business pile it up. 

"We are a proud people, raised on the doctrines of 
equality found in the Declaration of Independence. We 
do not like to be bossed too much. Not even by a boss we 
know we can change through the ballot box. We do not 
like to have any one man or corporation own the town." 

As Jonathan Mitchell said in The New Republic, these 
are predicates about the American people it would be 


hard to prove. "But if for the American people you sub- 
stitute Bob Jackson you have an exact statement. He is 
a proud person and no man or thing will boss him." 

Bob Jackson, I think, looks upon government as a 
good architect looks upon the skyscraper: it is a beautiful 
thing mainly because it is useful; but its use, and there- 
fore its beauty, ceases when it dominates and does not 
serve the community. The form of the government under 
which we live, as I read it from Bob Jackson's words, 
should follow the function for which, as a democracy, it 
was planned. 

He wants the American people to keep on running 
their own country. His distaste for big business stems 
from his belief that, through monopoly or concentration 
- call it what you will it has sought to dominate and 
not serve. Until the basic plan is recalled, and the struc- 
ture is rebuilt along functional lines, American democ- 
racy will not be the thing of beauty the original architects 

BOB JACKSON is STILL a young man. He was born Febru- 
ary 13, 1892. In those forty-seven years, he has used his 
native talents well. With little formal education he has 
gone far in a meticulous profession. Family background 
had much to do with this. It made him a political 
Democrat in a predominantly Republican stronghold, 
thus teaching him the ways of independence and also 
instilling in him a deep sense of justice. He has no pa- 
tience with stupidity. He has a gracious sense of humor; 
and a biting wit. He does his own thinking; but he knows 
how to get help. He does his own writing; but he takes 
the telling phrase where he finds it. He is independent; 
but not foolhardy. A trained lawyer, he knows the value 
of precedent, the need for preparedness. A self-made 


philosopher, he is continually seeking to temper his 
pragmatism. A politician by chance, he is primarily a 
democrat and democrats cannot be ashamed of 

His great-grandfather was a farmer who helped settle 
the cold and rocky township of Spring Creek, Warren 
county, Pennsylvania, back in the late eighteenth cen- 
tury. Bob Jackson's grandfather and father were born 
on the farm he hewed out. The latter, William Eldred 
Jackson, was both farmer and small merchant, whose 
deeper love was for the soil. He lived on a farm on the 
outskirts of Jamestown, N. Y., where Bob was born and 
raised. From his mother Bob Jackson inherited his Dutch 
tenacity. She, born Angelina Houghwout, was descended 
from the early settlers of New Amsterdam. 

Undoubtedly Bob Jackson's life has been greatly col- 
ored by his great-grandfather, old Elijah Jackson, a 
crusty frontiersman, farmer, rural democrat. He was a 
stout follower of Andrew Jackson who, in Bob Jackson's 
words, was the first "American political leader to seek his 
political support among all the people." Old Elijah, in a 
hotbed of Federalists, was a member of one of those 
Democratic Clubs formed in his time to support the 
principles for which the French Revolution was fought. 
His son, Bob's grandfather, was so deeply dyed a Demo- 
crat that even the Civil War could not wean him from 
his party. 

"To have a family that glories in belonging to a 
hopeless political minority," Mr. Mitchell wrote, "is 
something no child could ignore. One of the possible 
consequences would be to make the child contemptuous 
of what is elegantly called the climate of opinion." From 
childhood Bob Jackson was thus contemptuous; he had 
to be; and it made him tough. 


Bob Jackson's boyhood was divided between farm life 
and attending the public schools of Jamestown. He was 
ambitious and impatient. Early in life he decided he 
would be a lawyer, but he thought it impractical to waste 
four years in college, when he could learn all he needed 
to pass the bar examinations in two years at the Albany 
Law School. He entered and passed the course in one 
year. This resulted in the school refusing to give him his 
degree. He became a lawyer at the youthful age of 

In order to take his first case, he had to receive special 
permission of the court. His clients were a group of strik- 
ers arrested during a "riot" in a Buffalo street car strike. 
So ably did the tyro present his case that he won ac- 
quittal and the attention of the leading lawyers of 
Buffalo. He stayed in that city just long enough to gain 
some practical experience; then he returned to James- 
town to practice on his own. 

He became an excellent trial lawyer and soon associ- 
ated himself with the leading business interests of 
Jamestown. But he did not become contaminated by 
them. The railroad companies, the telephone corpora- 
tion, and the bank, whose counsel he was, were not Big 

On the contrary, most of his talents were called upon 
to keep them from being swallowed up by bigger 
corporations, bigger railroads, bigger banks. He was 
forced to defend the thirty-two miles of track from en- 
croachment by the New York Central, the 50,000 an- 
nual phone messages from domination by the New York 
Telephone Company. He succeeded, perhaps because he 
felt that the buying up of these smaller businesses by 
huge, impersonal, outside corporations was neither a 
fair nor an efficient move. 


While his economic philosophy was slowly crystalizing 
in his small city law office he also was becoming inter- 
ested in politics. His only political office, however, was as 
corporation counsel for Jamestown. But he was active in 
Democratic party affairs, and once the upstate machine 
tried to have him run for election to the Court of Ap- 
peals. Later, after the New Deal had attracted attention 
to his name, he was suggested as candidate for Lieu- 
tenant Governor, but this, like a later attempt to make 
him Governor, came to nothing. 

He found his best forum for expression before the 
several bar associations of which he was an active mem- 

Here he was unorthodox. With a passion for the law 
and a high regard for its code of ethics, he liked to chide 
his fellow barristers. Once, asked to speak on taxation 
before one association, he said: 

"Bar associations could, if they would, contribute 
powerfully to this cause of tax revision but, frankly, it 
seems hopeless to count on most bar associations for 
contributions to governmental, economic or social 
service unless intellectual inertia can be considered a 

Another time he said: 

"The contribution of the bar to the balance of social 
forces is likely always to be on the conservative side. 
Legal training emphasizes the older and established 
values and the price other generations have paid for 
existing institutions. Prudent regard for his professional 
reputation and his client's safety makes it the attorney's 
habit to proceed along well-beaten paths and shun the 
unknown and experimental. But the possibility of pre- 
serving the judicial or litigation method of settling con- 
troversies over facts depends upon the bar's abandoning 


its traditional hostility to progress, its cynical opposition 
to reform." 

Just the kind of words you might expect from a bank 
lawyer who as Bob Jackson once did would vol- 
untarily defend a Communist arrested for selling publi- 
cations such as the Daily Worker and the New Masses on 
the public square ! 

As AN UPSTATE DEMOCRAT, Bob Jackson was known to 
Mr. Roosevelt; he had served on at least one investiga- 
tory commission when the latter was governor. He was 
known as a young, able lawyer. His personal charm was 

At the time Secretary Morgenthau asked him to 
come to Washington as general counsel for the Bureau of 
Internal Revenue he was living with his wife and two 
growing children in a comfortable house in Jamestown, 
where horseback-riding and sailboating were his hobbies. 
He left a comparatively quiet, but not provincial, ex- 
istence to step into the New Deal whirlpool in March, 

Soon after his arrival in Washington he went to work 
preparing the income tax case against that most powerful 
of economic royalists, Mr. Mellon. Against some of the 
best legal brains in the country he contended in open 
court. As he expressed it, one day when irked by the 
tactics of the defense: "It is Mr. Mellon's credo that 
$200,000,000 can do no wrong. Our offense consists in 
doubting it." 

Bob Jackson's victory in this case, in which he re- 
covered $750,000 from the ex-Secretary of the Treasury 
and ex- Ambassador to the Court of St. James's, was ob- 
scured by Mr. Mellon's gift of his art treasures to the 


But it was a victory, nevertheless. 

After that he argued many another important tax 
case. In 1935 he prepared a brief on the general subject 
of taxation for the Senate Tax Committee that was 
praised even by the reactionary press for its lucidity. His 
next important work was with the Securities & Exchange 
Commission where, as special counsel, he came in close 
contact with Tom Corcoran and Benjamin Cohen. With 
their aid he prepared the SEC case against the Electric 
Bond & Share Co., one of those holding companies 
which Hugo Black once called a "network of chicanery, 
deceit, fraud and graft." Bob Jackson prosecuted this 
case which, after he had moved on to greater things, won 
its final victory in the Supreme Court. 

As a tax expert Bob Jackson learned much about the 
concentration of wealth in America and his reaction to 
this knowledge was what might be expected of one in- 
herently unwilling to let "any one man or corporation 
own the town." Electric Bond & Share, the Aluminum 
Company of America, the sixteen leading oil companies, 
the Big Three of the automobile industry these were 
some of the aggregations against which he moved. For a 
time he headed the anti-trust division of the Department 
of Justice which, in the past, had acted only on the 
complaint of one industry against another. He changed 
that and began originating cases on his own. 

BOB JACKSON is a progressive but not a radical. Some of 
his statements bear repeating: 

"The Constitution is not a legal document. It is a 
general outline of great powers and institutions. In deal- 
ing with a nation whose genius is invention, we cannot 
outlaw every action that cannot show a precedent." 

"Judges who resort to a tortured construction of the 


Constitution may torture an amendment," he told a 
Senate committee. "You cannot amend a state of mind 
and mental attitude of hostility to the exercise of gov- 
ernmental power and of indifference to the demands 
which democracy, attempting to survive industrialism, 
makes upon its government." 

"The Supreme Court's power over legislation is not 
defined or bounded, or even mentioned in the Constitu- 
tion, but was left to lurk in inference." 

"The only way to ensure a reasonably steady well-be- 
ing for the nation as a whole is for government to act as 
an impartial overseer of our industrial progress, ready at 
all times to call a halt to ... practices which threaten 
to throw our economy out of order." 

It was when, with a fine scorn and biting words, he 
attacked Big Business's 1927 "strike against the govern- 
ment," which he characterized with Goethe's phrase as 
"aristocratic anarchy," that he made his bitterest ene- 

His words stung. But they were not political ex- 
pediency. They were the words of a man who, in Mr. 
Mitchell's phrase, is a "durable justice seeker." Bob 
Jackson has always taken the avowed and reformistic 
aims of the New Deal seriously. His reward was the 
Solicitor Generalship when Mr. Stanley Reed went to 
the Supreme Court. 

Whatever his political future may be, Bob Jackson's 
past is secure. He has expressed candidly and articulately 
the ideology of the New Deal as most liberals have in- 
terpreted it. His formulated doctrine is no patchwork of 
incoherence. His great hero is Andrew Jackson, of whom 
he is spiritual but not physical kin. He believes deeply in 
the liberal tradition of American democracy, which is 
not rugged individualism. 


On the anniversary of his hero's birthday he once 
pointedly asked: 

"Shall we move while we can still control our direc- 
tion, or shall we wait, as some European countries have 
waited, for events to push us around?" 

The Public Service 

Takes its Toll 
of Human Dignity 

A Matter of Character 


CONCANNON'S FRIENDS and their friends were running 
all over the city seeing people who might save his 
job. Frank Healy had been hanging around the Mayor's 
office for days trying to put the pressure on his friend Tim 
Logan, who was one of the Mayor's secretaries. Tim 
finally said he just couldn't mention Concannon to the 
Mayor any more, because Concannon didn't have a 

Up at the City Treasurer's office it was the same 
story. Jim Lewis, one of the big men in that department, 
didn't even try to reach the Mayor. "If Leo Concannon 
was my own old man," he said to those who begged him 
day after day to do something, '"I wouldn't lift a finger 
for him. It wouldn't do any good. Concannon' s as white 
as they come. But he's out of luck this time." As for the 
library trustees, who had the final say on Concannon, 
they were harder to reach than the politicians. Besides, 
everybody knew that poor Concannon would get no- 
where even if they gave him a chance to defend himself. 
Things looked pretty bad. 

Meanwhile the library crowd was enjoying the biggest 
thing that had happened there in years. Even old Fred 
Hawkins, the head of the Circulation Department, who 



had been on the force fifty-three years and was retiring 
in two months, said he remembered nothing like it. 
There had been plenty of cases, but none as serious as 
this Concannon mess, because the public wasn't in- 
volved, and anybody could tell you that you were out of 
luck if you got too funny with the public. The big thing 
to remember and the words every youngster who entered 
the library service got drilled into his head were: "The 
public is always right." Concannon himself used to tell 
that to his own boys in the Periodical Room. 

That was the funny part of it. Miss Emerson, head of 
the Children's Room, who had worked in the library for 
forty years, said, "Leo Concannon was the most courte- 
ous man in this building. I just don't understand." Down 
in the smoking room, before ten or fifteen boys who had 
sneaked off to get all the dirt, old Jerry Green was saying, 
"This beats everything. Why, Leo was afraid of that gang 
of bums who hang out in his Periodical Room. That's 
the only thing I ever had against Leo. He'd bow down 
to those blokes, he'd get them anything they wanted. I 
still can't figure out what happened to Leo this time." 

Everybody in the library soon got to know most of the 
story, but only two or three of Leo's close friends knew 
the more intimate details. They were pretty sure he was 
through with the library forever. 

Concannon had come to work that Tuesday morning 
at his usual time, nine-thirty. As head of the Periodical 
Department, he could come in late, sign nine, and get 
away with it. He found his boys, Morrie, Frank and Joe, 
working on the morning mail, pulling the old issues of 
magazines out of hard covers and putting the newly- 
arrived copies in. Morrie had looked up from his work 
and said, "Oh, good morning, Mr. Concannon, a feller 
by the name of Jesse Powers called up a little while ago, 


just before you came in. Said he'd drop in to see you 
about eleven o'clock. Said you'd remember him." 

"Jesse Powers?" asked Concannon. "Is he in town? 
Say, that's fine, Morrie. Did you tell him I'd be here all 
morning and all day? Good, that's the boy. I remember 
Jesse all right. Great guy. Wonder what he's doing?" 

After that Concannon found it hard to keep his mouth 
shut. He kept interrupting the boys with stories about the 
time, fifteen years ago, he took a leave of absence and 
went to New York to try out a job, about how he had run 
into Jesse Powers and how he and Powers had roomed 

"You know, fellers," said Concannon, standing in 
front of the three boys who were working at the big desk, 
"New York is a great town. Yes, sir, it's a grand city. 
And you can live there, too." 

The boys had heard this before and didn't look as if 
they wanted to hear it again this morning. In other parts 
of the library, however, there was considerable respect 
for Concannon. About fifty years old, of medium height, 
always immaculately dressed in conservative clothes, 
with a distinguished-looking big bald head, he made the 
librarians in other departments who didn't see him often 
think he was quite a man. Girls from nearby schools and 
colleges especially liked Concannon. He didn't treat 
them as nuisances to be disposed of quickly and coldly. 
That was the way the boys in the Periodical Room 
handled them. 

When asked about a book or a magazine article by one 
of the college girls, Concannon would smile sweetly, his 
big head and face would flush a little, then he would 
reach for the glasses in his lapel pocket somewhat osten- 
tatiously, murmur a bit with his lips pressed tightly to- 
gether while his face darkened a little. "Let me see, let 


me see," he would muse. "I think I've got just the thing 
for you. About a year ago, in May, yes, in May, Harper' *s 
ran an article on that. Now there was another article, 
too. You know the English Nation, not the American one, 
entirely different, well, they had something even better. 
Now I'll tell you what we'll do first. . . ." 

BUT IN HIS OWN department Concannon was a big bore 
to his crew, made up of younger fellows eighteen or 
twenty years old, who didn't intend to spend the rest of 
their days in the library. They knew all about the boss's 
New York adventures. After fifteen years in the library 
he was offered a clerical job in New York in a theatrical 
producer's office. But Concannon didn't leap for the job 
and take the next train out of town. No, smart Concan- 
non didn't quit; he monkeyed around the library for two 
more weeks, then at the right moment asked for a leave of 
absence for one year, on the grounds that he was sick and 
needed a long rest. 

After four months the producer went broke and Con- 
cannon remained in New York because he knew there 
was a job waiting for him when the year was up. How- 
ever, he was lucky enough to land another job after he 
was through with the producer, but he even quit that job 
when the year was up and hurried back to his library job. 
Since then he had always lectured the younger fellows 
in the building on the virtues of a steady job. "Now think 
it over," he said every time one of his boys quit. "I can 
still carry you. You've got a good job. Nothing to sneeze 
at, either. I know." 

And Concannon handled his own job with great care. 
All customers, from the usual bums to the occasional 
professors, got the magazines they wanted in the shortest 
possible time. "Remember, Morrie," he used to say to his 


favorite boy, "give them what they want. Don't argue. 
Be nice to all of them. I've seen some of these blokes for 
thirty years, but, after all, it's none of my business. You 
never can tell. These fellows can complain just like any- 
body else. And then where are you?" 

But this morning the telephone call from Jesse Powers 
got him all excited. Smiling, looking at the ceiling, 
walking back and forth in front of the desk, he repeated 
the old, old tale about his days in New York. "Of course, 
it's a hardboiled city too. There's no telling where I'd be 
if I stayed. I was with John Randolph and Sons, a hell 
of a big firm, and I had an office job. Good money too, 
five bucks more per week than I was getting here, but I 
was afraid. Can you blame me? No pension there, no 
trustees, no security, no kick if they wanted to fire you. 
If they didn't want you, out you went. But I kind of liked 
working in New York and I thought it over plenty before 
I came back here. 

"Of course, this Jesse Powers, the guy who's coming 
in, he worked with me in the same place and stayed on 
because he had no job to get back to like I did. He was 
from Chicago and said that was the last town he wanted 
to go back to. We used to share the same apartment, 
Jesse and I, and, boy, those were the best days of my life. 
We'd get out of the office at five, walk up Lexington 
Avenue, pick up some stuff to eat, chops, steak, things 
like that, get into our apartment on Sixty-second Street, 
just off Madison Avenue, get under the old shower, and 
then, oh boy! That was the life. We had a three-room 
apartment and we had some swell times there too. Parties 
- plenty of them. I could tell you fellows some stories." 

Morrie interrupted Concannon to ask, "How much 
could such an apartment cost in New York? The very 


Concannon hesitated a moment, apparently bewil- 
dered by the question. But he soon answered, "I forget 
what the devil the exact amount was, but you can take 
my word for it, it was plenty. After all, Madison Avenue ! 
Well, we were just around the corner. When I talk to you 
fellows about Madison Avenue and Lexington Avenue 
and Sixty-second Street, it does something to me. I 
haven't been to New York for fifteen years now and those 
names sound good." 

Concannon was more quiet now. 

"What time did Jesse say he was coming in?" he asked. 
"Eleven o'clock? Pretty close now. Well, I'll be glad to 
see that guy. After all, it's been fifteen years. Yes, fifteen 
years. I wrote him two letters and he wrote me two when 
I got back to the library. Then I got married and we lost 
track of each other. The wife will think I'm crazy, but 
you know I'm thinking of spending two weeks of my 
vacation in New York this summer. I've had it on my 
mind for years." 

A customer interrupted him by asking for the May 
Atlantic Monthly. After some searching through a big pile 
of magazines on the desk Morrie told the man it was in 
use. When the man protested that he had been after that 
number of the Atlantic for two days without success, 
Morrie repeated that he was sorry, but that somebody 
was using it. Grumbling incoherently, the man walked 
slowly away from the desk. After he was out of hearing 
distance, Morrie told his boss that the magazine was 
really being used and that he remembered giving it to a 
girl a little while after he got in at nine o'clock. 

"That's all right," said Concannon somewhat reck- 
lessly and to the surprise of all the boys. "That punk 
doesn't know what he wants. He's just looking for trouble 
and for somebody to talk to. He's been doing it for 


twenty years. The place is full of these bums. Anyway, as 
I was saying, take some time off and go down to New 
York. You'll love the old town. Spend a week there and 
just walk around the city, through Times Square at 
night, up to Central Park, over to Staten Island. Don't 
let the library get you. Get around." 

One of the boys asked, "Mr. Goncannon, was your 
place far from Times Square? I mean your apartment." 

Goncannon liked that question. He put his hands in 
his pockets. "Why, it was practically no time from our 
place. Could get down there by subway in five minutes 
and could walk it in fifteen minutes. Figure it out your- 
self. Sixty- two and Forty- two. Twenty blocks and you 
were in Times Square." 

"You said East Sixty-second Street, Mr. Concannon," 
said another boy. "Isn't the East a sort of rundown sec- 
tion? Immigrants and pushcarts." 

Concannon smiled tolerantly. "Say, that's a good one. 
You're thinking of the lower East Side, way down town. 
Oh now, my apartment was in the upper East Side. 
There's a big difference. You know who lives in the upper 
East Side? Some of the biggest people in the city. You 
know that Lamont, the big banker, a J. P. Morgan part- 
ner, he lives on the East Side. As a matter of fact, most 
of the big bankers live on the East Side." 

"That's funny," said another boy. "All goes to show." 

"Why sure," said Concannon. "You take in my build- 
ing alone, where Jesse and I lived. All kinds of big shots. 
There were big advertising men, a big real estate guy 
named Jacobson, Rufus L. Bradley, a big politician and a 
swell guy people like that. That's the East Side for 
you. I never saw a pushcart up there." 

"Must of been quite a building. How many floors?" 
asked Morrie. 


"Fourteen floors. That's small in New York. But we 
sure got the service. That's why we stayed there. We had 
a chance to get a place on the thirty-first floor of a build- 
ing near there, but we figured we were getting the serv- 
ice. Why change?" 

The boys asked Concannon what he meant by good 

"Well, here's the idea," he said. "If I came home four 
in the morning in New York you don't sleep--! 
press that elevator button and in no time the elevator is 
there and I'm in my apartment. Now take the shower. 
Hot and cold water all the time, twenty-four hours a 
day. And take the shower itself. Boy, I haven't seen a 
shower like that anywhere. One of those needlepoint 
things. When you got out of that you felt like something. 
Lots of things like that." 

Getting a bit restless now, Concannon began pacing 
back and forth again. "I could spend hours telling you 
about New York. Why, do you fellows know how many 
visitors come to New York every day? Well, at a conserva- 
tive estimate, it's one million. Every day." 

Concannon paused here to permit his boys to grasp 
the full significance of his last statement. But he suddenly 
added, "By the way, I'll probably be going out to lunch 
with Jesse. If anybody calls, tell them I'll be back late." 

As HIS EYES WANDERED toward the windows, a heavy, 
rather short man with thick black hair came through the 
doorway and walked quickly toward Concannon and the 
boys. He looked very sternly out of his tortoise shell 
glasses as he faced Concannon. 

"Could you tell me where I can find Leo Concannon?" 
he asked rather loudly. 

"Mr. Concannon just fell off the roof," answered Con- 


cannon just as seriously. "He'll be out for two days. It 
was quite a fall. Are you a friend of his?" Then breaking 
into a big smile, Concannon stretched out his hand. 
"Jesse Powers," he almost shouted. "There isn't a man 
in the world I'd rather see. How are you, Jesse?" 

After Jesse was introduced to the boys, Concannon 
and Powers moved off to a side of the room. 

"How about lunch in a little while?" asked Concannon. 

"I'd love to, but I've got to be leaving soon. The next 
time I'm in town we'll have plenty of time for each 
other. I'm flying back, you know, and I'll have to grab a 
cab outside of the building to get over to the airport in 
time. But how are things, Leo? You're looking fine." 

"Everything is okay, Jesse. Swell. Gee, I'm sorry you 
can't stay longer, but, of course, if you have to, you have 
to. Must be pretty nice taking the plane back. You've 
come up in the world, Jesse. What are you doing?" 

"This is going to surprise you, Leo. I'm still with the 
old outfit. John Randolph and Sons. And here's some- 
thing else. Old man Benson died three years ago and I've 
had his job ever since." 

"General Manager!" exclaimed Concannon. "What 
have you got on that! Congratulations, Jesse." And he 
shook hands with him again. 

They talked about the old office for a while, about 
what happened to this man and that girl, about who had 
quit and who had died. Concannon was extremely inter- 
ested, but his friend seemed to be getting a little tired. 
When they had finished with the office they found it 
hard to get started again. Finally, Powers found some- 
thing else. 

"Bet you're married, Leo," he said slyly. 

"Yup, you guessed. Got two boys too. Got married a 
little while after I got back here. Married one of the li- 


brary girls. What the hell. Most of the men here marry 
library girls. How about yourself, Jesse? You married?" 

"Well, sort of." 

"What do you mean, 'sort of?" 

"Well, Leo, I've been living in sin for two years. But 
I'll probably get married one of these days. We're getting 
along so well that, you know, I hate to make it legal." 

"Now listen, Jesse, you just listen to a married man. 
Do it right. That's no way for you to live." 

Powers laughed. "Well, look what's happened to Leo 
Concannon. Don't forget that apartment we had, Leo. 
You don't happen to remember a certain girl named 
Helen? And it seems to me that she lived in your room 
for three months. And you liked the idea. You've 
changed, Leo." 

Concannon blushed a little, proudly. "I wonder how 
Helen is," he said slowly. "Do you ever see her?" 

"See her every day practically. She's married. Great 
girl. I could never figure out why you never took her 
back with you and married her. She was nuts about you. 
She practically begged you to take her back. But that's 
water under the bridge." 

"So she's married," said Leo. "I don't know what 
happened to me that time. To tell you the truth, Jesse, 
and this is between us only, I still think about her." 

"That's what I figured, Leo. Well, we all make mis- 

"Not mistakes like that. You know, Jesse, I thought 
I'd never get married, but I was hitched less than a year 
after I got back to the library. And to a library girl at 
that. After the way I used to rave against the library. 
But you ought to meet my wife sometime, Jesse. You'd 
like her. Of course, I took her right out of this place after 
we were married. She wanted to keep on working, but 


none of that stuff for me. She's home where every wife 
belongs. But tell me this, Jesse, do you get the same 
dough old man Benson used to get?" 

"Ten bucks more per week. If you don't mind my 
saying so, Leo, you would have been sitting pretty in 
New York today if you hadn't been in such a hurry to get 
back to this library. Still, you've got a nice job here." 

"Nice nothing," grumbled Concannon. 

"Now, now, Leo, cheer up. It's all the same in the end. 
Say, I'll have to be shooting along. I don't want to take 
any trains, I want to make that plane." 

Leo asked him to stay, make a day out of it and come 
out to his house for dinner. But Powers said it was im- 
possible and started to leave. Leo walked to the front 
door of the library with him and shook his hand warmly. 

"Jesse, I'll be in New York for three weeks this summer. 
I'll write you. Don't forget to answer. And say, Jesse, tell 
Helen I was asking for her and that I'll be in New York 
soon. So long, old boy." 

CONCANNON WALKED SLOWLY back to the Periodical 
Room. When he got to the door he saw Morrie talking to 
the man who had asked for the May Atlantic Monthly 
earlier in the morning. They were arguing. Morrie was 
saying he was very sorry about the magazine still being in 
use and the man was asking how long he was expected to 
wait for a magazine. Morrie was having a hard time get- 
ting rid of the fellow and was glad to turn him over to 
his boss. "Here's the head of the department," he said. 
"Maybe he can help you." The man turned to Con- 

"How long am I supposed to wait for a magazine?" he 
asked angrily. "I've been after the May number of the 
Atlantic Monthly for two days." 


Concannon looked at him contemptuously. "You 
heard what the young man said," he told him sharply. 
"The magazine's in use. You'll have to wait." 

"Well, I don't see why you don't take it away from 
whoever has got it. They've had it long enough. It seems 
to me that I'm entitled to some consideration." 

"We can't take it away from the person using it," said 
Concannon, becoming more impatient. "You'll just have 
to wait until he's through with it." Concannon's voice 
was louder. 

"You can't talk to me like that," said the man. 
"Whether you have the magazine or not, you could be a 
little more courteous. If you people didn't talk so much at 
the desk here, telling dirty stories, and paid more atten- 
tion to the people who use the library we'd have a better 

Concannon looked at him carefully. He began speak- 
ing slowly. "About the best thing you can do, mister, is 
to get out of this room in a hurry. We've had enough 
trouble from you today." He was speaking louder and 
more quickly now. "Now go on," he shouted. "I've seen 
your face around this room for thirty years and I'm sick 
of it. Get out of here before I call one of the guards to 
carry you out." 

The boys at the desk, surprised and somehow enjoy- 
ing it, were silent. The people at the other tables looked 
up and listened to every word of the argument. Before 
Concannon and his adversary could continue, an elderly 
man in a long, old black coat, got up and went toward 
Concannon. "You can't talk to a taxpayer like this," he 
said. "You ought to be ashamed of yourself. You'll hear 
more of this. I'm going to report this to the Mayor if 

"Who sent for you?" asked Concannon, seemingly un- 


perturbed. "What I said to this man goes for you, too. 
Get out of here, both of you, or I'll throw you out. If I 
hear any more of this taypayer stuff from you or anybody 
else in this room, I'll keep every one of you out of here. 
This room isn't a convalescent home, it's for scholars, 
and the whole bunch of you in here are a bunch of loaf- 
ers." He then looked at the big clock on the wall. "I'm 
going to lunch now," he said softly, turning to the three 
boys at the desk. 

Concannon took less time for lunch than ordinarily. 
He came walking into the room quickly, looking dis- 
turbed. Before he could get to the boys at the desk an old 
lady stopped him and said, "I wonder if you could help 
me? I've been waiting for the latest Railway Age for more 
than an hour. The young man at the desk couldn't find 

"Why certainly, madame," said Concannon. "You 
just sit down and I'll get you our reserve copy if neces- 
sary. I'm terribly sorry you've had to wait so long." 

"Thank you very much," she answered. "You're very 

"That's perfectly all right," said Concannon. "That's 
what I'm here for, to help you. I'll have that for you 
very soon." 

He walked to the desk. "Morrie," he said quietly, 
"give the lady over there the reserve copy of the Railway 
Age, the latest we have. And say, Morrie, has everything 
been okay while I was out to lunch? But get the magazine 

When he returned, Morrie looked at his boss sympa- 
thetically. "There was a call from the director's office a 
few minutes ago. Brewster wants to see you as soon as 
you come in. Brewster himself phoned and said for you 
to go right up to his office." 


Goncannon pressed his lips together tightly. He didn't 
hurry upstairs as he usually did when the office called 
for him. He looked at Morrie carefully. "Morrie," he 
began quietly, "you've been working for me three and a 
half years now, haven't you? Did you ever hear of a single 
complaint about service in here? Did you ever see me turn 
anybody away before helping them in some way? You 
remember how many times I've worked here for hours 
looking through magazines, calling up all kinds of places, 
running all over the building and even going into the 
stacks myself after stuff which nobody else could find. 
Well, Morrie, you know that this morning we tried to 
help that guy who wanted the Atlantic. We did every- 
thing we could for him. And who got fresh about it? Did 
we? Of course not. It was that guy and you know it. 
Well, Morrie, I want you to remember all this. I don't 
know what Brewster wants me for, but it may be that guy 
complained, and if he did I'm going to tell Brewster to 
ask you about it. You were here. I'm not afraid. I'm go- 
ing up there now. If anybody wants anything, anything 
at all, give it to them. Give them reserve copies, give 
them bindery copies, give them any copy you can lay 
your hands on." 

UPSTAIRS IN THE ANTEROOM of the director's office, Con- 
cannon was greeted by the executive secretary, the 
fifty year-old Miss Bradford, with, "Oh here you are, Mr. 
Concannon. Mr. Brewster is waiting for you. I'll go in 
and tell him you're here." 

In a moment Concannon was in the large, richly fur- 
nished, thickly carpeted office, facing not only Mr. 
Brewster, but the two men he had shouted at earlier in 
the day. Mr. Brewster, seated behind a large old desk, 
began immediately. "Sit down, Mr. Concannon. Mr. 


Concannon, these two gentlemen have been here for al- 
most an hour now telling me that you shouted at them, 
in fact, insulted them in the Periodical Room this morn- 
ing. That's why I asked you to hurry up here. I wanted 
to hear what you had to say." 

"Fm very sorry about what happened this morning, 
Mr. Brewster," Concannon said nervously. "I was a lit- 
tle hasty, I'm afraid, and really, I want to apologize right 
now to these two gentlemen." Goncannon turned to the 
two men, while speaking. "I'm terribly sorry, terribly 
sorry," he said. " It was one of those accidents. It never 
happened before and I'm sure it won't happen again. I 
hope you gentlemen understand. It was one of those 
things, one of those terrible accidents. I'm very sorry." 
He now turned back to Mr. Brewster, flushed and help- 

"I don't suppose there's any sense in going over the 
entire incident again, then," said Mr. Brewster, turning 
to the two gentlemen. "I'm glad that Mr. Concannon 
apologized. I want to apologize myself. I also want to 
thank both of you for losing no time in coming up here. 
Rare as incidents like this are, I appreciate hearing of 
them whenever they occur. Excellent as I believe our 
service to be, your thoughtfulness in coming up here 
gives me an opportunity to improve it still further. I hope 
that the incident is closed as far as you two gentlemen are 
concerned," said Mr. Brewster, rising from his desk as he 
noticed the two men rising also, "but you may rest as- 
sured that I will have a long talk with Mr. Concannon 
about it. I will review the entire matter with him and I 
will personally see to it that neither of you or any other 
library patron has any difficulty in the Periodical Room 
hereafter. By all means come right up here to this office 
if you have any trouble whatever in the future." Mr. 


Brews ter extended his hand to the two men. As he went 
to the door with them they mumbled their thanks and 
looked very happy. Mr. Concannon remained seated all 
through the parting ceremonies. 

Mr. Brewster walked slowly back to his desk, looking 
at the floor all the time. He was a conservatively-dressed, 
tall man of sixty or so. His thick grey hair was parted in 
the middle, his eyes were small and he wore pince-nez 
glasses. He had the ease and deliberate manner of an 
old librarian of the upper strata, a librarian, that is, who 
had long ago outgrown shelf numbers, classification 
schemes, catalogue cards and cross references. Personnel 
proolems, appropriations, annual budgets, circulation 
figures, library repairs and trustees' meetings made up 
the world he now lived in as a director. He sat down and 
addressed Concannon deliberately. 

"To say that I am astounded," he said, "would be 
to put it mildly, Mr. Concannon. In all my eighteen 
years as director of this library I have never had to face 
a problem as painful as the one you have created. Inso- 
lence to a public library patron, indeed to the patron of 
any library, is actually a crime in the librarian's code. 
Now I know that sounds harsh, Mr. Concannon, but 
don't you see how the whole library structure, not only 
here, but everywhere, don't you see how the library de- 
preciates sharply in value as an institution of public 
service if the patron, the public, is not at all times treated 
with the utmost courtesy and respect? The librarian is 
not merely a jobholder, Mr. Concannon. He is not 
merely the practitioner of a great and ancient profession. 
He is, Mr. Concannon, especially in a library such as 
ours, a public servant, and his one thought at all times 
should be to serve the public well and faithfully under 
the most trying circumstances." 


Mr. Brewster leaned back in his chair and continued 
in a somewhat intimate manner. "Many years ago, Mr. 
Concannon," he said almost kindly, "when I was a 
youngster in library work, I had to pay a visit to Prince- 
ton University library. Accompanying me on this trip 
was the late Dr. Edward P. Judson, a man whom I still 
regard as the greatest librarian this nation has ever pro- 
duced. It was he who introduced me there in Princeton 
to one of the great men of this country. That man, a 
rather elderly man, was sitting on the porch of his home, 
and Dr. Judson and I conversed with him for some time 
on library matters. That elderly man was amazed to 
hear from us how great were the responsibilities of a li- 
brarian. That man, Mr. Concannon, was former Presi- 
dent Grover Cleveland. 

"Now I have a special reason for bringing up Grover 
Cleveland's name, Mr. Concannon. He is the President 
who said, 'Public office is a public trust.' He did not 
mean only Presidents, Governors, Senators, District At- 
torneys, Mr. Concannon. He also meant librarians. He 
meant you and me." . 

MR. BREWSTER PAUSED AGAIN and did not indicate that 
he was ready to listeh to Concannon yet. "Now about 
this morning's incident. A gentleman asked for a maga- 
zine which was in use. After repeated unsuccessful ef- 
forts, he approached you and you shouted at him to 
leave the room. To another gentleman who protested 
against this treatment you also shouted. Finally you 
turned on every reader in the Periodical Room, calling 
them bums. But worse than that, Mr. Concannon, you 
spoke so loudly to a friend of yours that the gentleman 
who complained couldn't help overhearing you. This 
gentleman told me he heard about your leave of absence 


and about your working in New York. But I regret 
that I have to bring this up he also told me that you 
spoke in a loud tone about a former mistress of yours, 
about somebody named Helen, to be precise. Now is 
there any truth in this, Mr. Concannon?" 

Goncannon replied dryly, "I'm sorry about everything, 
Mr. Brewster. I'm sorry I spoke so loud. I don't know 
what happened to me." 

"Now, Mr. Concannon," said the director, who now 
seemed to be a little irritated, "at first glance it may ap- 
pear that I am becoming unduly personal. But in a 
larger sense my interest in what you said this morning is 
a library matter. As director of this institution I must 
look for more than competence and efficient librarian- 
ship in my heads of departments. Mr. Concannon, I 
must ask for strength of character in my men. After 
all, there are young people working in your department. 
There are young ladies working in the building here. 
They look up to you, they respect you. After what hap- 
pened this morning, well, frankly, I have become a bit 

Mr. Brewster then went on to say that he had stretched 
a point fifteen years ago when he granted Concannon' s 
request for a leave of absence. Mr. Brewster added that 
he had had many doubts then and that after hearing 
about this mistress his doubts had been confirmed. 
"Unless, Mr. Concannon, there is no truth in this story. 
Was that gentleman who overheard you mistaken?" 

"Well," said Concannon slowly, "this lady wasn't 
really a mistress. She was a close friend and we had 
hoped to get married." 

"Yes, but you lived with her in your apartment, I was 

"That's true, but, I guess, well, it was one of those 


things we can't explain. She was only with me three 

"Three months, three months," repeated Brewster 
slowly. "Incredible. I suppose she was one of those 
fluffy, young things." 

"She was twenty- three at the time," said Concannon 
very slowly. Brewster was listening intently, and Con- 
cannon apparently thought it would be more comfortable 
to continue. "She was an actress who was just getting 
started on the stage. When the producer I worked for 
went bankrupt she lost her job. During the time she 
lived with me she was penniless. I was the only friend 
she had." 

"An actress," repeated Brewster. "She probably 
danced too. Probably one of these slim, one of these 
sinuous creatures, as the phrase goes." 

"No," said Concannon soberly, "she didn't dance on 
the stage at all. She was a well-built girl. Almost my 

"There's probably no need in my remarking that she 
had blonde hair also, is there? Her profession probably 
demanded that she have that shade of hair." 

"She had brown, almost black, hair." 

"Well, be that as it may," said Brewster, feigning a 
little weariness. "But did you have a genuine feeling of 
love for this woman?" he continued. 

"Yes. In fact, I've never forgotten her." 

"That's peculiar," said Mr. Brewster. "Then why 
didn't you marry her?" 

"I don't know. It was a terrible mistake on my part. 
When I heard this morning that she was married it 
upset me. I think that had a lot to do with my behavior 
in the Periodical Room this morning." 

"Why should that upset you and make you insult peo- 


pie. I don't understand your reasoning. Be logical. Was 
this the only girl you carried on with in New York?" 

"The only one." 

"What about these parties you told your boys about?" 

"They were just little gatherings among a few friends." 

Mr. Brewster did not speak immediately. He looked 
toward the door, he shifted his gaze toward a book on a 
small table in another part of the room, he fitted his 
back squarely against his chair, coughed weakly and 
finally turned to Concannon. "When I appointed you 
head of the Periodical Department I had some misgivings 
about you. I had some doubts about your stability, about 
your presence of mind in critical situations. After all, a 
department head is not just another staff member." 

Now Mr. Brewster lowered his voice. "Mr. Concannon, 
I've been to New York on only three occasions during 
the past twenty years. On none of these occasions have I 
come to look for adventure. I came only because of li- 
brary matters, such as a convention of the American 
Library Association." 

Then he suggested Concannon might have made a 
mistake when he returned to the library. Concannon's 
leave of absence, his illicit relationship with an actress, 
his inability to forget New York, all of these indicated 
something very serious. 

"Our profession," announced the director, "rarely at- 
tracts men of that type." 

After a long pause, Mr. Brewster said he would have 
to suspend Concannon for at least three weeks. He would 
speak to the trustees about final action. 

Concannon asked the director to be more lenient. He 
spoke of his wife, of his two children, of his thirty years of 
library service. He said he was getting on in years and 
that he could not hope to find another position if the 


trustees discharged him. He pointed out that the New 
York matter happened fifteen years ago. "I promise to 
resign if there are any complaints about me again." 

Brewster rubbed his chin with the fingers of his right 
hand. He had listened carefully to Concannon's pleas and 
appeared to be moved by them. "I have no other 
choice," he said. "I wish I had. If it weren't for one fac- 
tor I might try to take care of the matter myself without 
consulting the trustees. But that factor is important. I 
refer to your mistress in New York." 

Concannon could barely speak now. He got up to 
leave. He said, "I'll appreciate anything you can do to 

The director got up from his chair. "I'll do what I 
can," he said, "but it will be difficult." As Concannon 
thanked him and started for the door, Brewster asked, 
"How old are you, Mr. Concannon?" 

"Fifty-one," he said hopefully. 

"Well, let's hope for the best. But, really, I'm ashamed 
of you." 

Red Herrings Across the 
Path of Civil Liberties 

Bogus Friends of Freedom 


WHEN WALTER LIPPMANN wrote A Preface to Morals, 
his diagnosis just before the October crash of 
1929 was not wrong: the corroding acids of modernity 
had eaten away the faith of our fathers. Modern man 
had ceased to believe, but he had not ceased to be credu- 
lous. "It is no wonder that his impulse is to turn back 
from his freedom and to find someone who says he knows 
the truth and can tell him what to do." And so new 
dogmatists won power, replaced searching inquiry and 
critical judgment with their own certainties. Mussolini, 
Hitler, Stalin: it is not accidental that these individual 
men, leaders of today, created followings, created norms 
out of their names. 

The impatient ones of today, the yea-sayers as Nietz- 
sche might call them, embraced one or another of 
these all-consuming certainties. The followers of one 
totality regarded the others with the hate born of com- 
peting similarities. They asserted that Stalinism and its 
national embodiment in Russia would become (in con- 
trast to its alleged antithesis, Hitlerism-Mussolinism) the 
home of human values. There, in Stalinland, men would 
congregate, forever free from the burdens of property 
and war. A higher democracy, a greater liberty, a real 



fraternity and equality would be the signs of this totality 
when once it could slough off the temporary expedient of 

They continued to ask a series of rhetorical questions: 
Did not Nazi-Fascist society torture the free man until he 
was no longer either free or a man? Were not the means 
employed in Hitler's Hell characteristic of an everlasting 
Inferno? What if there appeared occasional and super- 
ficial identities in means employed in Germany and in 
Russia? Was not Stalin's Russia on the road from Purga- 
tory to Paradise? "Down with Fascism," they cried. "For 
Peace and Democracy." Many, not seeking the verifiable 
meaning behind the sound, cried with them. And many, 
in advocating the values of Peace and Democracy, were 
content to disregard the nature of their sponsors. They 
were content to accept on faith in today's slogans the 
alleged good works of Stalin's past, present, and future. 

At this point a new conflict appeared on the horizon. 
Stalinist totalitarians defended the "historical necessity" 
of starving peasants for the good of forced collectiviza- 
tion; upheld the regimentation of art, science, and letters 
in order to give birth to an ever-receding free culture; 
applauded incredible fr^ame-up trials to preserve justice; 
supported the sale of military supplies to the other to- 
talitarian countries in order to build a free "socialist" 
economy. These Stalinist totalitarians were joined by 
fellow-travelers who were willing to ignore the violent 
means which were supposed to lead to such noble ends ! 

The opponents of all forms of totalitarianism, the sup- 
porters of true democracy in means and ends began to 
give battle with increasing vigor at the very time that 
Stalinists and their camp-followers were parading under 
the mantle of "Peace and Democracy." Singly and then 
in groups they spoke out: 


The tide of totalitarianism is rising through the world. It is 
washing away cultural and creative freedom along with all other 
expressions of independent human reason. Never before in 
modern times has the integrity of the writer, the artist, the 
scientist and the scholar been threatened so seriously. 

Under varying labels and colors, but with an unvarying ha- 
tred for the free mind, the totalitarian idea is already enthroned 
in Germany, Italy, Russia, Japan, and Spain. There intellectual 
and creative independence is suppressed and punished as a 
form of treason. Art, science and education all have been 
forcibly turned into lackeys for a supreme state, a deified leader 
and an official pseudo-philosophy. . . . 

Through subsidized propaganda, through energetic agents, 
through political pressure, the totalitarian states succeed in 
infecting other countries with their false doctrines, in intimi- 
dating independent artists and scholars, and in spreading panic 
among the intellectuals. Already many of those who would be 
crippled or destroyed by totalitarianism are themselves yielding 
to panic. In fear or despair they hasten to exalt one brand of 
intellectual servitude over another; to make fine distinctions be- 
tween various methods of humiliating the human spirit and 
outlawing intellectual integrity. Many of them have already 
declared a moratorium on reason and creative freedom. Instead 
of resisting and denouncing all attempts to straitjacket the 
human mind, they glorify, under deceptive slogans and names, 
the color or the cut of one straitjacket rather than another. 

These are immediate and pervasive realities. Unless totali- 
tarianism is combated wherever and in whatever form it mani- 
fests itself, it will spread in America. The circumstance that free 
culture, persecuted and proscribed in vast areas of Europe and 
Asia, seeks a refuge in America raises these responsibilities to the 
plane of pressing moral duty. (Manifesto, Committee for Cul- 
tural Freedom, May, 1939.) 

This " plane of pressing moral duty" was immediately 
attacked. The organs of the Communist Party and its 
not too innocent affiliates sprang to the defense of the 
Stalin straitjacket. Associated with it were the soi-disant 
liberals of the New Republic and the Nation who called for 


double-bookkeeping and urged the claims of complaisant 
silence upon those who would speak out against the 
betrayal, Russian version, of the free man. 

It may be worthwhile to examine the editorial pro- 
nouncement of the Nation as a typical incident. In the 
May 27, 1939 issue, its editor maintained that "the 
only distinction, and therefore the only important feature 
of the present manifesto [of the Committee for Cultural 
Freedom] is its emphasis on Russian totalitarianism." 
But the editor went on to say that to advocate a policy of 
"clearest differentiation" is a "counsel of disruption" 
among liberal and left forces. She called for "an era of 
good will and decency" in order to create unity and hope 
and strengthening of the organs of democracy. This "is 
not to be accomplished by insisting upon differences and 
crystallizing them in manifestos and committees." How- 
ever, by October 14, 1939, after the Nazi-Soviet Pact, 
the same editor of the same Nation rejected her Spring- 
time companions ! Surely those who had earlier asked for 
dispassionate rejection of all totalitarians have every 
right to expect more critical judgment from liberals 
and democrats, have every right to hold that the signing 
of the Nazi-Soviet Pact was not the only act by which 
judgment was to be reached. It was merely an incident 
in a long chain of abuses. The chain had too many links 
prior to September, 1939; it merited decisive considera- 
tion long ago ! 

No longer can the Nation and New Republic editorially 
defend their double-bookkeeping. Pro-Stalinists in their 
pages, Malcolm Cowley, George Soule, Heywood Broun, 
Maxwell Stewart, I. F. Stone, Louis Fischer and others, 
either retire into wretched silence or abruptly turn somer- 
saults. The New Masses loses Granville Hicks and Kyle 
Crichton (Robert Forsythe) who publicly defended the 


Stalin treachery until the eleventh hour. Stooge organi- 
zations such as the League for Peace and Democracy, 
led by Reverend Mr. Harris and Dr. Harry Ward, 
applaud the Nazi-Soviet embrace and are still supported 
in the "liberal" pages of the New Republic. The Week - 
a mimeographed dopester sheet edited by Claud 
Cockburn and distributed via the Stalinist-controlled 
American Committee for Anti-Nazi Literature, con- 
tinues its miserable rationalization of the Soviet "Peace" 
policy, the while the vaunted Red Army takes over from 
the Nazis the assignment of "mopping-up," i. e., the 
war against the workers who defended Polish Warsaw 
and Lwow. 

IN THIS AWFUL ATMOSPHERE, ideals of peace and plenty, 
of freedom of belief, inquiry and expression fight a des- 
perate battle merely to exist. At this time no special 
leniency may be granted to anyone whatever his claim 
or his station. By their deeds men are known and judged. 
Let me illustrate. Recently a liberal professor wrote a 
book an important book. It is called It Is Later Than 
You Think. It is subtitled, "The Need for a Militant 
Democracy." Now its author, Professor Max Lerner, 
regards himself and is righly regarded as a thinking man. 
Professor Lerner finished his book long before Stalin's 
latest performance but not before Stalin's other perform- 
ances. Lerner had already castigated the Fascist threat 
to human life and value, but he chose to overlook the 
enthronement of dogma versus free inquiry in Stalinland; 
he chose to ignore the enforced surrender of the free 
creative artist to Stalin's anesthetics he could write: 

. . . the current tendency to identify the Soviet system with 
the fascist regimes is unfair. What they have in common is a 
formal similarity in the party as the steel frame of political 


society. What they have in common also is the suppression of 
opposition thought. But here the similarity ends. The driving 
need for suppression in the case of the fascist regimes is the 
economic tyranny of the ruling group over the subject majority. 
The failure to distribute the increases in national income to the 
workers and the restrictions imposed even on the middle class 
and a large part of business, produce the real danger of a chal- 
lenge to the ruling group. From this fact, and from the integral 
need of the regime for imperialistic expansion and hence for 
military power, arises the need for totalitarianism. 

In the Soviet Union the case is different. A socialist economy 
has been established. The business group and the middle class 
no longer exist as appreciable forces. The state is a workers' 
state, and the increases in national income go in overwhelming 
measure to swell the workers' standard of living. The suppres- 
sion of opposition flows partly from the challenge to the dominant 
party leadership by other groups in the revolutionary tradition 
who are in the party and the government only because there is 
no room provided for them outside. It flows also from the fear 
of external invasion a very real fear, given fascist imperialism 
and from the activity of fascist spies. But all this is magnified 
by the desire of the party bureaucracy to perpetuate its power. 

Note the ease with which Professor Lerner overlooks 
the "suppression of thought," the "suppression of opposi- 
tion." Note the facile assumption of "a socialist econ- 
omy," "a workers' state." Blind, if not ignorant is Pro- 
fessor Lerner. A Socialist economy and a workers' state 
are incompatible with a party state, a party-bureaucracy 
state, a one man state! And up until August, 1939, when 
he affixed his signature to an Open Letter of 400, 
initiated by those Stalinist stalwarts, Corliss Lamont, 
Mary Van Kleeck, Donald Ogden Stewart, et at., he 
had not yet thought sufficiently of the real meaning of 
"militant democracy," his avowed goal a goal of 
democratic collectivism which I also support to ana- 
lyze the full meaning of the totalitarian suppression of a 
free man's culture ! 


Professor Lerner has just published another book: 
Ideas Are Weapons. The opening essay, written after the 
Nazi-Soviet Pact, gives evidence of the "shock" which he 
suffered . Good that he now suffers a "shock." But is it 
enough? He still believes that in the rapprochement 
between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union the latter 
has "preferred to suspend its doctrines." The clear im- 
plication remains that he is unwilling to condemn the 
doctrine as such and would probably support the Soviet 
Union once again if it lifted its "suspension!" Is it too 
much to ask of Professor Lerner that he reconsider the 
doctrine; that he come to grips with the fatal character of 
Stalin's totalitarianism once and for all time; that he 
determine the precise nature of the insoluble opposition 
between "militant democracy" and all forms of totali- 
tarianism, Stalin's included? 

YET ANOTHER EXAMPLE and my case concludes: Vincent 
Sheean and the New Republic. Vincent Sheean is an ex- 
tremely able writer. Two of his books, Personal History 
and Not Peace But A Sword, have made their marks. He, 
too, has been a stalwart defender of Stalin's totalitarian 
faith. As late as September 18, 1939 in the New Masses 
he defended the "Party-line" and the Nazi-Soviet Pact. 
Then suddenly in the Mew Republic of November 8 and 
15 he "breaks." Everyone interested in the cause of 
human values, of the free man fighting against the on- 
rushing forces of repression, should read these articles. 
He admits the slow, poisonous growth "of power un- 
restrained and irresponsible, concentrated more and more 
into the hands of a single man." He admits, at long last, 
that the achievements of the Stalinist regime during the 
past decade have been bought at the cost of millions of 
lives, and the loss to the workers of "every liberty hitherto 


known to man. . . . Their compensations . . . are of 
a purely fascist nature." He admits that "the human and 
economic waste has been colossal . . . and the enslave- 
ment of the proletariat and peasantry ... is without 
parallel in the records of mankind." He admits that 
these things are so; have been so for many years, but this 
is the fast time he has been willing to speak out. 

Until September 18, 1939, Vincent Sheean castigated 
every liberal, progressive, and socialist who fought bit- 
terly the Stalinist perversion of workers' democracy; 
but two months later he speaks out. It is good but not 
good enough! What ethical norm, what ideal can be 
served which allows a decade or more of support to its 
own prostitution? What values of the Free Man can be 
cherished which suffer continual degradation? 

A postscript to Vincent Sheean is in order: The New 
Republic editorializes on his two articles. Its authors, with 
unspeakable hypocrisy, with feigned Olympian detach- 
ment, remark: "We sense what seems to us a certain 
lack of realism in his point of view, which is shared by 
many . . ." 

I trust it has been useful to cite Freda Kirchwey of the 
Nation, Professor Lerner, and Vincent Sheean. For they, 
and many others, suffered from a great delusion these 
many years. 

For delusion it is. The values of a free society, a free 
culture are indivisible. Attacked anywhere, they suffer 
everywhere. We who believe in and partly enjoy a free 
culture must proceed at once to the counter-attack lest 
we, too, and our whole society perish. Men cannot live 
without bread nor yet by bread alone. They live to find 
freedom and expression together with other men. 

Anatomy of a Conversation- 
alist Turned Novelist 

Sinclair Lewis: 
The Symbol of An Era 


THE TWENTIES, IN RETROSPECT, seem to us now almost 
mythical. The period may with justice be called the 
Dizzy Twenties. No truly satisfactory explanation for it 
has yet been offered, except the very obvious and pro- 
found one that a country, like an individual, goes insane 
every so often, and that there is nothing to be done about 
this insanity but to wait till it peters out. All sorts of 
quackeries were in the air. Everybody seemed to believe 
that continuous intoxication was a state of bliss, that 
cohabitation with a large variety of the opposite sex was 
the sure road to the solution of all the problems of the 
world, that capitalism was the guardian angel of the 
heavy laden and sore beset, that the works of Anita Loos, 
Thornton Wilder, Will Durant, and Walter Lippmann 
were the real American literature and philosophy, that 
it was much smarter to laugh at the antics of primitive 
Baptists and Methodists than to read Thorstein Veblen 
and Herman Melville, and that the height of good taste 
was to take your mistress to dinner with your wife. 

The country was in a welter of fraud surrounded by 
tinsel, with three little men in the White House, Harding, 
Coolidge, and Hoover, setting the pace of what future 
historians will probably consider as the first great Amer- 



lean bacchanalia. So deep was the stupor engendered 
that when the entire economic structure of the nation 
collapsed in 1929 for all to see, our best minds, including 
the President of the United States and his Secretary of 
the Treasury, rushed to deny it. Soon there were bread- 
lines everywhere, and we were heading straight for the 
abyss of economic despair. 

The novelist who was in closest touch with the period 
as a whole as well as with its chief psychological trends 
was Sinclair Lewis. He is still the most timely of our 
fiction writers, and is thus entitled to the rank of our 
premier imaginative sociologist. His first major book, 
Main Street it was actually his seventh was published 
in 1920, the year of President Harding's election, and the 
first year of the bacchanalia of the Twenties. The country 
was in a state of suspense. It was somewhat sick of the 
Wilsonian idealism and eager to forget the rigors of the 
war years, but it was not quite sure what change and 
what form of relief it wanted. In other words, it was for a 
while in a state of critical self-consciousness, ready to be 
scolded. Sinclair Lewis, scolded it as it had probably 
never been scolded before in Main Street, a long philippic 
against the dullness of small town life, in terms of the dis- 
appointments suffered 'by a cultivated woman, Carol 
Kennicott, who had married a virtuous and unimagina- 
tive physician of Gopher Prairie. 

Two years later Mr. Lewis published Babbitt, doing the 
same thing to the big town that he had done to the small 
town in Main Street, this time using as his chief character 
a boisterous, nervous, bewildered, unhappy business 
man. The American people were already in the midst 
of their bacchanalia, and they read Babbitt in the hun- 
dreds of thousands, not so much for the pleasure of being 
scolded, as they had read Main Street, but for the pleasure 


of laughing at themselves. People in a pleasant daze, 
especially if there is money in their pockets, always like 
to look at themselves in a mirror. 

In Arrowsmith, which appeared in 1927, Mr. Lewis 
found fraud where the general public had least expected 
it, in the scientific foundations, and by picturing the 
initial integrity, later despondency, partial triumph, de- 
feat, and escape of Dr. Martin Arrowsmith of the Mc- 
Gurk Institute, he brought before universal attention the 
Babbittry that goes on in American scientific laboratories. 
Mr. Lewis did a similar thing for the clergy in Elmer 
Gantry and for the petty adulterous American woman 
with her helpless husband in Dodsworth. In his next two 
books, Mr. Lewis somehow lost his grip upon the passing 
scene and seemed to forget his previous championship of 
the free spirit. In Ann Vickers he attempted to portray the 
horrors of our prisons through the eyes of an unhappy, 
earnest, and somewhat comical social worker, and in 
Work of Art he turned traitor to the ideas in Main Street, 
Babbitt and Arrowsmith^ by arguing that an efficient small 
town hotelkeeper is better in the eyes of God than an 
indifferent poet, however noble his impulses. But in 
It Can't Happen Here, he again hit the stride of his earlier 
days, writing the timeliest of all his volumes, an imagi- 
nary portrayal of Fascism in the United States. 

examine very hurriedly Mr. Lewis's books before Main 
Street, for in them are to be found most of the virtues and 
defects of the books that came afterward : a tenderness for 
the sensitive failures of the middle class, a fine ear for the 
speech of their economic and political overlords, an 
inability to get within a character based upon a failure 
to differentiate between describing a character's actions 


and hinting at the personality behind those actions, a 
tendency to unwarranted and ill-timed sentimentalism, a 
liking for sophomoric profundities and humor, and an 
astonishing sloppiness in sheer writing. 

Our Mr. Wrenn, published in 1914, is a thin, senti- 
mental story of a clerk who marries his Nell, and sets up 
house with her in the Bronx, New York, where he tries 
to eke out a bit of romance on a salary of $32.50 a week. 
At the very end of the book he runs out to buy "seven 
cents' worth of potato salad" to complete their supper. 
All that can be said, and the most that Mr. Lewis himself 
has said about it since he established himself, is that he 
feels tenderly toward Mr. Wrenn. 

The Trail of the Hawk, which came out in 1915, is an 
even more sentimental story of Carl, who is all heated up 
about aviation, who travels all over the country, has an 
affair with Istra Nash, marries Ruth, breaks with her for 
no good reason, makes up with her, and as a sort of 
present takes her on a trip to Buenos Aires and Rio de 
Janeiro. The book is very rapidly put together, and full 
of false writing and superficial thinking. On the boat 
Carl says: "How bully it is to be living, if you don't have 
to give up living in order to make a living." 

The Job (1917) is dedicated to "My Wife Who Has 
Made 'The Job' possible and life itself beautifully im- 
probable." The story proper of The Job is that of Una 
Golden, a Middle Western girl who comes to New York 
to work in an editorial office, falls in love with one of the 
editors, Walter Babson, is deserted by him, marries the 
pre-Babbitt Ed Schwirtz, is violated by him physically 
and spiritually, and at the end accidentally meets Walter 
Babson again, who, it turns out, has loved her right 
along. The book as a whole was a considerable advance 
in Mr. Lewis's development. He began to show in it his 


fine eye for external characteristics, his scrupulousness for 
clarity of plot structure, and his sharp ear for middle 
class speech. But it also continued to show his faults. The 
very opening of the volume, a description of Captain Lew 
Gordon, foreshadows the Lewis of Babbitt: 

"He carried a quite visible mustache-comb and wore 
a collar, but no tie. On warm days he appeared on the 
street in his shirtsleeves, and discussed the comparative 
temperature of the past thirty years with Doctor Smith 
and the Mansion House bus driver. He never used the 
word 'beauty' except in reference to a setter dog - 
beauty of words or music, of faith or rebellion, did not 
exist for him. He rather fancied large, ambitious, banal, 
red-and-gold sunsets, but he merely glanced at them as 
he straggled home, and remarked that they were 'nice.' 
He believed that all Parisians, artists, millionaires, and 
Socialists were immoral. His entire system of theology was 
comprised in the Bible, which he never read, and the 
Methodist Church, which he rarely attended; and he 
desired no system of economics beyond the current plat- 
form of the Republican party. He was aimlessly indus- 
trious, crotchety but kind, and almost quixotically 
honest. He believed that Panama, Pennsylvania, was 
good enough for anybody." 

This is a pretty good picture of the outside of a man, 
and had Mr. Lewis kept up this pace he might have 
achieved a book almost as large in scenery and pointed 
in sociological comment as Babbitt. But the world Una 
Gordon moves in is a restricted one, never leaving the 
circumference of personal interests. She is an ordinary 
girl little better than ordinarily treated. Even when she 
comes in contact with Walter Babson, the heartbroken 
would-be writer, and gives the author a chance to let 
loose with his powers of characterization, she continues 


to remain shadowy. Then there is the sloppy writing, and 
callow humor. Una, we are told at the beginning, "could 
go off and study music, law, medicine, elocution, or any 
of that amazing hodge-podge of pursuits which are per- 
mitted to small-town women." A bit later she meets 
"the fateful Henry Carson [who does not turn out to be 
fateful at all, because she never meets him again]. The 
village sun was unusually blank and hard on Henry's 
bald spot today. Heavens! she cried to herself, in almost 
hysterical protest, would she have to marry Henry?" 
A few pages further on Una surprises her mother by 
bursting into tears just "when they were vivisecting the 
weather after dinner." Walter Babson, Una's chief and 
only real beau, was not merely an amiable good-for- 
nothing, tormented by unfulfilled ambitions; he "was 
extravagant financially as he was mentally, but he had 
many debts, some conscience, and a smallness of salary." 
A cub newspaper reporter writing this sort of English 
would be severely reprimanded by his city editor. 

The Innocents, published in the same year as The Job, 
was apparently meant to be a pot-boiler. It is sub-titled 
"A Story For Lovers." Page one begins thus: 

"Mr. and Mrs. Seth Appleby were almost old. They 
called each other 'Father' and 'Mother.' But frequently 
they were guilty of holding hands, or of cuddling together 
in corners, and Father was a person of stubborn youthful- 
ness. For something over forty years Mother had been 
trying to make him stop smoking, yet every time her back 
was turned he would sneak out his amber cigarette- 
holder and puff a cheap cigarette, winking at the shocked 
crocket tidy on the patent rocker. Mother sniffed at him 
and said that he acted like a young smart Aleck, but he 
would merely grin in answer and coax her out for a 


Four pages further there is this passage: 

" 'You mustn't use curse-words,' murmured Mother, 
undiscouraged by forty years of trying to reform Father's 

Free Air, which was published the year preceding Main 
Street, is a love story not much different from The Trail of 
the Hawk. Claire, who comes from a refined Brooklyn 
family, falls in love with Milt, a very good Middle West- 
ern garage mechanic, and is very happy with him. The 
book reads almost like a roughish Kathleen Norris novel, 
but what strange things are set down in it as profound 
thought and high humor ! On page twenty-six Mr. Lewis 
poses this conundrum: "Now of all the cosmic problems 
yet unsolved, not cancer nor the future of poverty are the 
flustering questions, but these twain: Which is worse, not 
to wear evening clothes at a party at which you find 
everyone else dressed, or to come in evening clothes to a 
house where, it proves, they are never worn? And : Which 
is worse, not to tip when a tip has been expected; or to 
tip, when the tip is an insult?" 

On the last page the happy Mr. and Mrs. Milt Dag- 
gett are described as having married u with the advan- 
tage of having discovered that neither Schoenstrom nor 
Brooklyn Heights is quite all of life, with the cosmic im- 
portance to the tedious world of believing in the ro- 
mance that makes youth unquenchable." 

THE TWO BEST of these early books are clearly Our Mr. 
Wrenn and The Job. They, like the others in a smaller 
degree, are important historically because in retrospect 
they indicate the attitude of Main Street and Babbitt, 
which were thus not accidents but natural developments. 
Mr. Lewis has always been chiefly interested in the be- 
havior of dull people and the life of dull towns. Main 


Street deals largely with the life of a dull small town, 
Gopher Prairie, and the Kennicotts are samples of what 
that life does to a sensitive woman and an honest but 
unimaginative man. It indicts the town as machinery of 
economic waste and a miasma of spiritual decay. It shows 
how the farmers are exploited and the people as a whole 

The book is almost wholly a sociological document, 
with little imaginative life to it. Carol is rather a peg upon 
which Mr. Lewis hangs many long speeches that show 
the strong influence of the writings of Upton Sinclair - 
the final coming to flower of his Helicon Hall days. Main 
Street is full not only of Mr. Sinclair's ideas, but also of his 
softness, earnestness, and sentimentalism. Carol is first 
pictured as a heroine out of all proportion to her size, and 
then as a logic-molded traitor to all the ideals of her 
former heroism. When she was studying sociology at the 
university she had said: "I'll get my hands on one of 
those prairie towns and make it beautiful." On her return 
after her temporary absence Mr. Lewis says of her: "Her 
active hatred of Gopher Prairie had run out. She saw it 
now as a toiling new settlement . . . a lot of pretty good 
folks, working hard to bring up their children the best 
they can." 

The volume is somewhat poorly organized, partly be- 
cause it lacks real characters to give it unity. There is also 
a large amount of bad writing, proportionally no more 
and no less than in Mr. Lewis' previous books. For ex- 
ample: "Carol noted that though Bresnahan wore spats 
and a stick, no small boy jeered." But while Mr. Lewis 
in Main Street showed no advance in his diction, he 
showed advance in his ability to give at least a semblance 
of reality to a large specimen of American life. 

His indictments of Gopher Prairie are not always just, 


because he runs roughshod over the souls of its inhabit- 
ants. Thus he often denounces when he should try to 
understand, and he scorns when he should pity. In other 
words, he writes more like a district attorney than like a 
novelist. It is the function of the novelist not to make out 
a case, but to present fully and honestly what happens 
when God and society grind down a man or a woman. 
Small towns probably have as much kindliness and 
decency and high aspirations in them per population as 
big towns. And the still small voice of noble agony is also 
to be heard in them, and the midnight groans of frustra- 
tion, and the afternoon soliloquies of despair. Emily 
Bronte in Wuthering Heights and Oliver Goldsmith in A 
Deserted Village wrote about their small towns with full 
awareness of hidden nobility and defeat as well as of 

Mr. Lewis told only part of the story of Gopher Prairie, 
and that part with acerbity rather than with understand- 
ing. Nevertheless, there was so much truth in what he 
had to say, and his saying took place at such an oppor- 
tune time, when the United States was in the throes of a 
brief period of self-consciousness, that his book achieved 
wide popularity. It was fortunate that it did, because 
there had been too much uninformed talk about the 
small town being the back-bone of America and little 
realization of what a poor looking back-bone it was. Mr. 
Lewis was the first to call attention to that fact in such a 
manner that the entire nation had to take notice. 

Whatever Mr. Lewis may have intended in Main 
Street, he did not write a novel, any more than Upton 
Sinclair wrote a novel in The Jungle. But in Babbitt his 
achievement came nearer to his intention. It remains his 
best book for that very fact. It has many recognizable 
characters, the chief of whom will probably for long re- 


main memorable in the national language as well as in 
the national consciousness. George F. Babbitt, true 
enough, is a caricature of a type rather than an individual 
character, and the many situations he finds himself in are 
comically selected and thus do not set off the man with 
honest comprehensiveness, but he comes so near to being 
a living personification of the average American small 
business man, that one is inclined to overlook his defi- 
ciencies as a product of the creative imagination. Mr. 
Lewis heightens the intense interest of his book with his 
incomparable mimicry. The blah-blah boosterism of 
Babbitt, especially his almost incredibly funny speech 
before the Zenith Real Estate Board, is so cruelly and 
authentically put on paper that it will probably delight 
and appall many generations to come. 

Occasionally Mr. Lewis forgets his burlesquing long 
enough to attempt to understand and pity Babbitt. The 
very last paragraph in the book, reporting Babbitt's talk 
to his son Ted who had just got married against his 
mother's implied wishes, still makes moving reading. 

"Now, for heaven's * sake, don't repeat this to your 
mother, or she'd remove what little hair I've got left, but 
practically, I've never done a single thing I've wanted 
to in my whole life! I don't know's I've accomplished 
anything except just get along. I figure out I've made 
about a quarter of an inch out of a possible hundred rods. 
Well, maybe you'll carry things no further. I don't know. 
But I do get a kind of sneaking pleasure out of the fact 
that you knew what you wanted to do and did it. Well, 
those folks in there will try to bully you, and tame you 
down. Tell 'em to go to the devil! I'll back you. Take 
your factory job, if you want to. Don't be scared of the 
family. No, nor all of Zenith. Nor of yourself, the way 
I've been. Go ahead, old man. The world is yours!" 


Structurally, Babbitt is better integrated than Main 
Street. As sheer writing, however, it is full of the usual 
faults already alluded to. One example will be sufficient 
here: "He [Babbitt] glanced once at his favorite tree, elm 
twigs against the gold patina of sky, and fumbled for sleep 
as for a drug." 

Arrowsmith is THE "Babbitt" of the medical profession, 
though there is a vast difference in detail between the 
two. It is done on a broader scale, with more understand- 
ing of the welter of hypocrisy involved and greater char- 
ity for the leading character, Dr. Martin Arrowsmith. 
The book also has a greater number of nearly full-blown 
people: Arrowsmith himself, Leora, Gottlieb, Sondelius, 
Wicket, Pickerbaugh. Then again, it is perhaps more 
roundly put together than any other Lewis book, and, 
finally, it stands out as the only one of his works in which 
there is no happy ending and no compromise. Dr. Arrow- 
smith makes a mess of his bubonic plague experiments, 
he is thoughtless of his devoted Leora, he betrays the 
hopes of his master Dr. Gottlieb, he makes an absurd 
second marriage with Joyce Lanyon, and he almost gives 
in to the mountebankery of the Pickerbaughs, but in the 
end he hies himself to the woods with the monolithic 
Wicket, there to pursue science in the spirit of the great 
Dr. Gottlieb. Carol Kennicott surrendered to Gopher 
Prairie and George Babbitt surrendered to Zenith, but 
Arrowsmith triumphed by escaping. 

The theme of Arrowsmith is an admirable one, but for 
all its many virtures, Mr. Lewis's treatment of it some- 
how lacks the originality of excitement in Main Street 
and Babbitt. The tale also smells a little of Horatio Alger. 
The obstacles Dr. Arrowsmith meets are real enough in 
themselves, but for some reason or other they do not 


seem real at least to his implied character. The long 
trouble with Joyce Lanyon is a perfect example of such 
an unreal obstacle. Then there is the major difficulty 
that however much Mr. Lewis tells us about Arrowsmith, 
the reader never quite gets to know him in the same way, 
say, that the reader knows Dr. Rouault in Flaubert's 
Madame Bovary. Mr. Lewis pays very little attention to 
the highly revealing day-time reveries and midnight 
agonies of Arrowsmith, thus leaving him a mass of activi- 
ties rather than a predictable human being. 

The writing, incidental thinking, occasional attempts 
at humor, and building up of situations in Arrowsmith - 
one is always forced to consider these matters in Mr. 
Lewis's books are exceptionally deplorable even for 
him. Sewer rats are not merely sewer rats, they are 
"those princes of the sewer." A Dr. Stokes "had had 
black-water fever and cholera and most other reasonable 
afflictions." Why "reasonable?" Is this intended to be 
humor? The whistle of a boat did not just blow, it 
"snorted contemptuously," and Terry did not walk 
home as the boat carrying Martin and Leora sailed 
away, he "abruptly clumped away." Dr. Gottlieb came 
to see them off in "a panicky taxicab." On the boat 
"Martin was cold off snow-blown Sandy-Hook, sick off 
Cape Hatteras, and tired and relaxed between; with him 
Leora was cold, and in a ladylike manner she was sick." 
What does it mean for a woman to be sick in "a ladylike 
manner?" When Martin was stopped by a Jamaican 
man-servant he didn't answer him curtly; "he snorted 
that he was Dr. Arrowsmith." 

After Arrowsmith came Mantrap, a sort of Canadian 
version of The Trail of the Hawk, published eleven years 
before. How Mr. Lewis came to write such stuff so late 
in his career is a mystery. Elmer Gantry, which appeared 


the following year, is so violent, unfair, and unsympa- 
thetic a philippic against the American clergy that it 
annoyed all intelligent people, believers and atheists 
alike. The book is a gallery of one major and numerous 
minor clerical monstrosities, unrelieved by humor or one 
act of believable kindliness. Mr. Lewis writes about Elmer 
Gantry and his satellites with the district attorney's 
concentrated animus rather than with the perceptions 
of the mature novelist. Perhaps the only good thing 
about Elmer Gantry is that in it Mr. Lewis dared to say 
sharp things about the clergy, thereby setting an example 
of courage to other fiction writers. Our novelists had 
been too timid to write about the clergy honestly. Until 
Mr. Lewis did the job it was generally considered in poor 
taste to question the integrity of men of the cloth. He 
broke through that inhibition, and for that deserves 
commendation. Unfortunately, the book with which he 
did it leaves much to be desired as a work of art or even 
as a sociological document. 

The Man Who Knew Coolidge (1928), is a hilarious mono- 
logue in the manner of George F. Babbitt. It keeps the 
reader's interest throughout its 75,000 words, and for that 
deserves a prize for superb literary vaudevillism. 

Dodsworth (1929) is the one book in which Mr. Lewis 
attempted the full portrayal of a woman. It was a timely 
study in that it grasped the agonies inevitable in the Era 
of Sex Freedom. Mr. Lewis's attempt so to put them on 
paper is a bit too homely and somewhat false. The Sex 
Freedom Epidemic was of short duration, and was con- 
fined almost wholly to the metropolitan centers of the 
United States. It did not reach Zenith, at least in its 
messiest and cruellest form. Fran Dodsworth at the most 
would have attempted some relatively stealthy flirtations, 
but hardly out and out adulteries. The Era of Sex Free- 


dom will have to be treated by a metropolitan novelist, 
which Mr. Lewis never has been: he has ever been the 
small-town novelist. In Dodsworth he made the initial 
mistake of picking the wrong town and the wrong woman. 
But there is enough heartbreak in the gradual collapse 
of the bond of life-long trust between Fran and Sam 
Dodsworth to make of the book very interesting reading. 
Fran is certainly not an Anna Karenina or an Emma 
Bovary, but she serves as a good pointer for future and 
more competent novelists who would put on paper the 
American Anna Karenina and the American Emma 

Mr. Lewis's next two books, Ann Vickers and Work of 
Art are among his feeblest. The first is a Sunday supple- 
mentish expose of the horrible conditions in American 
prisons as viewed from the eyes of a bewildered social 
worker who never, artistically, leaves the plane of a 
sociological rostrum. In Work of Art, as has already 
been said, Mr. Lewis turns temporary traitor to all his 
chief ideas. Perhaps traitor is too harsh a word, for a fair 
case might be made out that he never did really scorn 
Babbitt or at the most was only equivocal about him. 

Some oblique support is given to this contention by the 
shocking ignorance and wavering judgment that Mr. 
Lewis displayed in his address on "The American Fear of 
Literature" which he delivered at the time he received 
the Nobel Prize on December 12, 1930. In denouncing 
the general make-up of the American Academy of Arts 
and Letters he admitted that there were some good men 
in it, listing, among others, "such a really distinguished 
university president as Nicholas Murray Butler." He 
then chided the Academy for not having on its rolls such 
writers as Dreiser, Hemingway, Willa Gather, Sherwood 
Anderson, Ring Lardner, and Fannie Hurst, Louis 


Bromfield, and Edna Ferber. The Mr. Lewis who ad- 
mires President Butler and the works of Fannie Hurst 
and Edna Ferber, it may plausibly be argued, is not 
wholly scornful of George Babbitt. 

MR. LEWIS'S // Can't Happen Here, his last work so far that 
deserves mention, is not quite so poor as Work of Art or 
Ann Vickers, but it is feeble enough. Its central thesis is 
that Fascism can happen in America, and he is obviously 
opposed to everything it stands for. But it is one thing to 
be on the intelligent side of a major public question and 
another thing to transform that conviction into a power- 
ful novel. Harriet Beecher Stowe was probably on the 
right side of the slavery issue, but no one now claims that 
Uncle Tom's Cabin has any artistic value. 

The story proper of It Can't Happen Here is very simple. 
Doremus Jessup is the bourgeois liberal editor of the Fort 
Beulah, Vermont, Daily Informer. It is spring, 1936, and 
everybody is talking about the coming presidential nomi- 
nations and elections. One of Jessup' s cronies brings up 
the matter of Fascism in America, but the editor dis- 
misses it with the remark that it simply can't happen 
here. In a few weeks it does happen. Senator Berzelius 
Windrip a close resemblance to the late Senator Huey 
Long a resounding demagogue, head of the League of 
Forgotten Men, and "author" of "Zero Hour Over 
the Top," is elected President. Before long the country is 
swarming with Minute Men, composed of the lowest 
elements in the population, who turn the United States 
into a Hitler Germany. There are concentration camps, 
protective arrests, questionings, book burnings, etc. 

Jessup loses his paper because of his unwillingness to 
string along with Windrip' s Corpo (Fascist) regime, and 
in short order he is hurled into a concentration camp for 


writing illegal anti-Corpo leaflets. An old admirer, 
Lorinda Pike, helps him to escape to Canada, where he 
immediately joins the American exiles who are conspiring 
against Windrip. The Corpo state soon shakes with 
scandal and jealousy, Windrip is exiled, two other gang- 
sters capture the government, some of the Middle West- 
ern states revolt, and Jessup is sent into the United States 
to do underground work in the West. For that he becomes 
William Barton Dobbs, representative of the Des Moines 
Combine and Up-to-Date Implement Company. The 
Corpos get wind of him, and he is on the run again. "And 
still Doremus Jessup goes on in the red sunrise, for a 
Doremus Jessup can never die." 

Mr. Lewis has plainly transferred what he has read or 
heard about Hitler Germany to the United States. He 
should have given closer study to the American scene. 
His analysis of the Fascist forces at work among us says 
much too little about the intricate machinations of 
finance capital. The revelations of the Congressional in- 
vestigations into " un-American" activities seems to have 
escaped Mr. Lewis completely. He also betrays very little 
knowledge of the role of the Catholic church in our public 
life. It has tremendous investments in American industry, 
has been openly anti-labor on innumerable occasions, 
and would probably acquiesce to a Fascist dictatorship 
as easily as the Church did in Austria and Spain. 

Mr. Lewis's descriptions of several of the Corpo 
activities, personalities, and writings seem plausible 
enough, particularly his excerpts from Windrip's "Zero 
Hour." And as always, his ear for the conversation of 
shabby Americans is almost perfect. The cogitations of 
District Commissioner Effingham Swan probably form 
an appallingly accurate advance report of what the likes 
of him will be when and if Fascism comes to America. 


But as an individual he does not seem credible. Neither 
does Jessup, nor Windrip, nor any of the other characters 
in the volume. The one love affair, that between Jessup 
and Lorinda Pike, seems dragged into the book for no 
other reason than Mr. Lewis's apparent belief that a 
little adultery would make Jessup seem more real. Per- 
haps it would, but surely adultery needs a more logical 
explanation than the mere say-so of Mr. Lewis. As for the 
other members of Jessup's household Emma, his wife, 
Sissy and Mary, his daughters, and Julian, Sissy's sweet- 
heart they are all stock slick magazine characters. 

The author's attempts at philosophizing never go be- 
yond this banality: " Holidays were invented by the 
devil, to coax people into the heresy that happiness can 
be won by taking thought." His essays into the realms of 
humor and satire are even less successful. The onslaught 
begins on page two with this sophomorism: ". . . the 
Flag, the Constitution, the Bible and all other peculiarly 
American institutions." Thirteen pages further there is 
another: "[Fort Beulah] was a town of perhaps ten thou- 
sand souls, inhabiting about twenty thousand bodies - 
the proportion of soul-possession may be too high." On 
page thirty- three there is a reference to the "Republican 
standard-bearer meaning the one man who never has 
to lug a large, bothersome, and somewhat ridiculous 

There is a lot more callow stuff like this, but the most 
shocking involves the family dog, Foolish. Doremus was 
very gloomy on hearing of Windrip' s nomination as 
Democratic candidate for President, and Mr. Lewis im- 
mediately adds, "so possibly was the dog Foolish, as well, 
for at the turning off of the radio he tail- thumped in only 
the most tentative way." When Doremus' s grandson 
David was alternately crying and going back to sleep, 


"Foolish woke up to cough inquiringly and returned to 
his dream of rabbiting." On another occasion, when 
Doremus was particularly concerned about the fate of 
the United States, "Foolish started, snorted, looked 
offended but, catching the spirit of the moment, com- 
fortingly laid a paw on Doremus's knee and insisted on 
shaking hands, over and over, as gravely as a Venetian 
senator or an undertaker." One afternoon Buck, Mary, 
David, and Foolish took a walk through Burlington, 
"where none of them were known though a number of 
dogs, city slickers and probably con-dogs, insisted to the 
rustic and embarrassed Foolish that they had met him 
somewhere." This is the writing of America's first Nobel 
Prize Winner in literature! 

It Can't Happen Here, as a novel of character and of 
situation, has almost no standing whatever. At best it is 
no more than table-talk, and mostly boring table-talk. 
Mr. Lewis is to be commended for his choice of a lively 
and important theme, but he did not have the knowledge, 
the full-blown maturity, and artistic skill to execute it 
effectively. Whether or not it will influence the country 
against the Fascist menace it is impossible to say. That re- 
mains to be seen. It's an irrelevant question anyway. A 
bad book is a bad book no matter what influence it has 
on public affairs. 

grow with the years. He held up the mirror to America in 
what was probably its most reckless period, and his books 
as a whole are mines of information for the future his- 
torian. Whether he did any moral good, in the Goethean 
sense, in his own day, is dubious, but he did label his era 
culturally and philologically. After all, it is no small 
achievement for a writer to contribute two major type- 


words to the national language, Babbitt and Main Street. 
He was also the first to inject satire and burlesque into 
our imaginative literature on a large scale, and thus he 
helped greatly toward the exhilaration and liberation of 
the creative impulse in the land. Finally, he dared to 
attack the clergy openly and without gloves. For that he 
deserves our thanks, for in probably no other country had 
the notion of clerical inviolability been so oppressive to 
the artist as in the United States. 

As a creator of character, Mr. Lewis's stature is con- 
siderably less secure. There is not one full-bodied, living, 
breathing man or woman in all his works thus far. His 
people are caricatures, sentimental abstractions, or 
mouthpieces for his own ideas. Even as such they show 
little fundamental variety, which is to say, that Mr. 
Lewis's imagination is of small range. Carol Kennicott, 
Babbitt, Arrowsmith, Doremus Jessup at bottom they 
are all alike. He describes them all with the same astound- 
ing lack of real understanding and insight. If he doesn't 
write about them as a district attorney, he writes about 
them as an accountant, detailing only their external be- 
havior, missing all the daytime reveries, midnight ago- 
nies, and the still, small inner voices which alone stamp 
individuality and predictable personality. 

As a sheer writer of the English language Mr. Lewis 
leaves a very great deal to be desired. His vocabulary is 
extremely limited, his obiter dicta and humor are embar- 
rassing, and his diction is often grossly careless. He has 
neither style nor stylisms, and no amount of anger on his 
part will hide that fact, not even his pathetic grumble be- 
fore the Swedish Academy at the time he received the 
Nobel Prize: "I am not exactly sure what this mystic 
quality style may be, but I find the word so often in the 
writings of minor critics that I suppose it must exist." 


Perhaps the appalling crudeness of his sentences is to 
be explained by his haste in composition. In which case 
one can only apply to him the fine prayer of Arrowsmith: 
"God give me unclouded eyes and freedom from haste. 
God give me a quiet and relentless anger against all 
pretense and all pretentious work and all work left slack 
and unfinished. God give me a restlessness whereby I 
may neither sleep nor accept praise till my observed re- 
sults equal my calculated results or in pious glee I dis- 
cover and assault my error. God give me strength not to 
trust in God." 

But perhaps the real trouble is that at bottom Mr. 
Lewis does not seem to be a writer but a conversational- 
ist full of humor with a sharp eye and ear for the antics of 
the middle class Middle Western American. Had he 
lived in the days before the printed word came into the 
public domain, he would have been a magnificent roving 
raconteur. His writings appeal to the ear rather than to 
the eye. They are thus weighted with the brevity of life 
inevitable to public speaking in nearly all its forms, and 
deficient in the haunting, enduring, and integrated effects 
that are the marks of memorable art. 


American Art on Exhibit Super- 
ficialities of Changing Criteria 

THE SEASON which is drawing to a climax in New 
York with what promises to be an impressive Picasso 
show at the Museum of Modern Art, has been notably an 
"American" one. The Whitney Museum opened its 
newly decorated and enlarged quarters with a selection 
of almost three hundred oils, water colors, prints, draw- 
ings and pieces of sculpture from its permanent collection. 
Stieglitz offered a retrospective of Marin, and Wana- 
maker's (department store) a parallel view of John 
Sloan's work (price- tags dangling in open sight). Charles 
Sheeler was given a one-man by the Museum of Modern 
Art and the Downtown Gallery is at present exhibiting 
" Con temporary American Genre." 

Several younger American artists have made their 
appearances with some eclat, among them a water-color- 
ist worthy of attention, De Hirsh Margulies. There has 
been a revival of interest as well in art publications which 
have been well-issued and moderately priced (consider- 
ing the processes involved), ranging in subject matter 
from Peyton Boswell's "Modern American Painting" to 
Thomas Craven's "Masterpieces of Art" - Renaissance 
to the present day. The latter is a best-seller, and when 
art succeeds as a commodity, all the indications would 
point to a new consciousness (or at any rate a new appe- 
tite) on the part of the American public; and the critic is 
tempted to discuss the definitions and values which enter 
into an appreciation. 

The first of these terms to define would be "American." 
It has come to mean a variety of things regionalism, 


ART 395 

genre, eclecticism depending on whatever purpose it 
has served the gallery or the artist. More recently it has 
begun to represent a cleavage with so-called European 
schools, and, what is more disastrous, an abandonment 
of European (quod absurdum) criteria. Art in this country 
is apparently no longer a method for universalizing ex- 
perience, but for constricting it. A painting is not merely 
good or bad, but French or American. Qualitative val- 
ues have disappeared from the critical vocabulary and 
have been supplanted by geographical symbols and 
place-names. The familiar reaction of a decade ago - 
"but is it art?" - has now become "but is it American?" 

The manifest intention, of course, is to evolve an 
American school. But the approach is infelicitous: paint- 
ings, even if they are star-spangled, cannot be waved 
like banners. It is also true that since the function of art is 
interpretive, any artist capable of producing a coherent 
statement will inevitably assimilate some aspect of his 
local scene. But consciousness begins rather than ends 
with topography. The physical fact is generalized not 
through imitation, but through translation into a new 
form: even maps for all their literal accuracy are de- 
pendent on symbolism and synthesis. 

It is significant that none of the American masters - 
West, Audubon, Ryder, Luks, Remington, Eakins or 
Whistler worked toward any chauvinistic end. They 
were primarily concerned with painting as a mode of 
communication and experience, and since they were 
Americans, that fact among others colored their expres- 
sion. It might be noted in passing that many members of 
the French school (Picasso, Dali, Ernst, Modigliani, 
Tchelitchew) are French neither in birth nor tradition. 
Such a concept as the American school (merely a faddist 
differential for the American tradition which has long 


been established) cannot be produced simply by turning 
the Statue of Liberty into a muse and appealing to 
speciously anthemized standards. The first consideration 
is an esthetic one and a painting, whether American or 
Uralian, succeeds according to that consideration, no 
matter what language is sung in the public squares. 

These observations have been brought on by the cur- 
rent Whitney show which resorts more than ever to 
sloganized painting. The tendency is a dangerous one. 
It excludes individualism and experimentation on the 
part of the artist and at the same time stimulates bad 
taste in the audience. Various trends and arch- types are 
established and the young painter if he wants a place 
to exhibit, and the Whitney is the leading museum of 
contemporary American art either falls in, or pre- 
sents his ideas before a much smaller public. 

The Whitney itself seems to pursue a policy of isola- 
tion. It has created a community within its walls and 
uncoordinated elements are kept out. Any person making 
a tour of the exhibition may arrive at a satisfactory con- 
clusion by the simple expedient of comparing the paint- 
ings to each other and obliterating from mind the fact 
that work of a vastly superior nature is going on in the 
world outside whether it be in Europe or on 57th 

The one fact, however, which must be constantly kept 
in mind, is that this is "American" painting. And that is 
the first fact which this reviewer rejects. It is no more 
necessary to accept inferiority as an a priori of American 
art than it is to visit a museum with the kind of tolerance 
one brings to an exposition of handicraft by the blind. 
As a nation, we are neither psychically nor esthetically 
retarded. Nor can this rationalization be proved by 
reference to our other art forms which draw on the same 

ART 397 

general cultural residuum as painting. In our poetry, for 
example, the work of T. S. Elliot, Ezra Pound, Wallace 
Stevens, Hart Crane and E. E. Cummings, may be more 
than favorably compared with that of Yeats, Rilke, 
Valery or Lorca without reference to native inadequacies 
or other non-qualitative factors. 

Successful art creates an empathy, an Einfiihlung, com- 
mon to disparate cultures and societies. It is more than 
coincidental that Freudian discoveries have their parallels 
in Sophocles, that Plato in the "Philebus" gives a perfect 
definition of abstract and non-objective art, or that 
Bosch has many of the characteristics of surrealism. It is 
this extension of experience beyond the considerations of 
time and place to offer another definition which 
fulfills the purpose and creates the universality of art. 

It follows that any movement which attempts to re- 
strict art (like a feud) to home-town boundary-lines, is a 
contradiction in terms and must necessarily fail as a 
medium of communication. In the modern world, with 
the perfection of such disseminative inventions as the 
wireless, radio, telephone and airplane, such a theory of 
spiritual self-determinism becomes completely meretri- 
cious. (Witness Hitler's program for an "anti-degenerate" 
esthetic.) A portrait by Eugene Speicher must be evalu- 
ated by the same criteria as one by Derain no painter 
is merely "good for an American." Nor does the critic 
become an enemy of American painting by withdrawing 
that qualifying phrase. 

It is interesting to note the entirely cooperative reac- 
tion of the press to the Whitney show. All judgments as 
to the quality of the work were withheld. The Museum's 
wet nurse relationship to the American artist was en- 
thusiastically described instead. And yet the proof of 
that relationship can only be found in the value of the 


work exhibited which, the reader may have gathered, 
is quite unsatisfactory. Mr. Edward Jewell of the New 
York Times, for example, after some hints as to the disap- 
pointing features of the show, suggests that "a mighty 
ferment is afoot." That is as good a description of the 
exhibition as any. One wonders, however, if a museum 
is the most appropriate place for such a process. 

There are, to be sure, half a dozen painters in the col- 
lection who would be a credit to any show: Max Weber, 
John Marin, Eilshemius, Stuart Davis, Henry Mattson 
and Franklin Watkins, none of whom have to take on the 
refuge or the protective coloration of nationalism. They 
are in a word, citizens of art. On the other hand, there 
are about two hundred pieces in the gallery which can 
only be described as the results of encouragement. 

AT THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, the Sheeler retrospec- 
tive offers another problem in criticism. The visitor comes 
upon work which is, in every sense of the word, finished. 
Mr. Sheeler is an artist of unquestionable accomplish- 
ment and virtuosity. His performances in oils and conte 
crayon are carried off with a precision one might ordi- 
narily associate with a more manual art like jugglery or 
jewel-setting. The attention to detail is almost painful 
and the impression one receives perhaps most vividly is 
of extraordinary patience. Such a drawing as Rocks at 
Stricken* s must have taken weeks of stroke upon stroke of 
crayon. The same care may be found in the execution of 
the oils with the exception of a few early impressionistic 

No doubt the most human aspect of Mr. Sheeler 's 
talent is its patience and care. Beyond these considera- 
tions, the medium ceases to be a form of communication 
for the artist and becomes a machine for producing 

ART 399 

simulacra rather than statements. The element of per- 
sonal experience is almost entirely eliminated. Mr. 
Sheeler paints Dutch kitchens, city streets, steamship- 
decks, as if they existed in vacuo. That is to say, as if they 
were merely physical entities in themselves with no rela- 
tionship to the act of visual recognition on the part of 
the observer or as though they were caught by a robot 
camera-eye. The camera, however, may achieve an ele- 
ment of spontaneity insofar as it fixes the object in its 
actual time and place. 

Mr. Sheeler, on the other hand, merely imitates the 
object and deprives it of both the character which is the 
result of the artist's interpretive consciousness, and the 
identity which the object possesses in three-dimentional 
reality. Many of the studies have quite frankly been 
worked from photographs (also on exhibition) and per- 
haps the most revelatory comment one may make is 
that on the whole, the camera studies seem more cre- 
ative than the handmade versions. 

Contraria contrariis curantur, Hippocrates observed a 
long time ago and without any apparent reference to art 
theories. A visit to the Mar in show at Stieglitz's finds the 
old cure still good. Mr. Mar in is not only an antidote to 
Sheeler, but an enduring criticism of all the self-conscious 
and hocus-pocus methods of arriving at an American 
idiom. His work is febrile and subjective where Sheeler's 
is frigid and mechanical, dynamic and lyrical where the 
latter's is unconvincing and prosaic. 

The Stieglitz papers covering a period of nearly thirty 
years (1908-1937) represent the heightening in technique 
and expression of an extraordinary sensibility. Like 
Cezanne, Marin will bend a landscape or twist a com- 
position in order to reproduce, not the object so much as a 
spontaneous impression of it. His method depends upon 


quick color relationships and kaleidoscopic perspectives, 
his brush-strokes are employed almost as metaphors. 
Any one of the latter water colors such as, Pine Tree, Small 
Point, Maine or Movement Pertaining to Deer Isle may be ad- 
vantageously hung alongside of the best work turned out 
in Europe today. Marin, it is true, does not work in oil, 
but neither, it should be remembered, did the Chinese. 
As for the usual question "but is it American?" - the 
answer still remains "yes, it is art." 



A Biographical Play Runs 
Ahead of Problem Plays 

THE MOST PLEASANT evening in the theatre the present 
reviewer has spent this season, so far, was at the 
Empire, where Life With Father, a dramatization of the 
late Mr. Clarence Day's book of the same title, by 
Messrs. Howard Lindsay and Russel Grouse, will 
probably delight audiences for many months to come. A 
series of tableaux rather than an orthodox dramatic 
work, and suffering at the end from some overemphasis, 
it recreates certain aspects of a bygone era the late 
1880's with a compelling charm, and sets before the 
audience a character, Father, who possesses many of the 
qualities of nearly everyone's male parent or bachelor 

Outwardly callous to all tenderness, ready to solve 
every petty and major annoyance with a sharp "Damn !", 
glorying in his domestic autocracy yet losing every battle 
to his wife and children, he really does not represent a 
universal type or even a full portrait of a vanished Ameri- 
can type, but a sort of dream type of certain elderly 
males that younger folk like to build up when con- 
templating their more vociferous seniors. It makes for 
better conversation at family gatherings and serves as an 
inexhaustible source for letter- writing, as all dreams do. 

Life With Father thus has small sociological significance, 
which does not make it inferior, any more than the same 
lack makes Hamlet or Candida inferior. To at least one 
observer it comes across the footlights better than it read. 
Whole pages become transformed into appealing bits of 
business, and paragraphs of none too successful descrip- 



tion get distilled into well directed smiles. Mr. Howard 
Lindsay and Miss Dorothy Stickney play Father and 
Mother superbly, and indeed one finds nothing to corn- 
plain of in the other characterizations, or in the staging 
and costuming. The ermine trade has taken the play to 
its heart, but those more closely related to the forebears 
of Abraham Lincoln will also find much pleasure in it. 

SIDNEY KINGSLEY'S The World We Make, based upon 
Millen Brand's novel, "The Outward Room," attempts 
to probe a few miles deeper into the human soul than 
Life With Father, but unfortunately it succeeds only 
moderately. The tale has to do with a young girl, be- 
come mentally unbalanced since the death of her 
brother, and who finally achieves liberation from her 
pathology by finding love in the arms of a man who 
sinks into despair when his own brother dies, and whom 
she pulls back into the normal world with her tender 
understanding and limitless affection. 

A story of this nature may be placed in a cellar or in a 
palace, for its problem depends only very little upon 
environment. Mr. Kingsley places it in a cellar, so to 
speak, with the apparent belief that he can tell it better in 
such a locale, but before the play has gone into the third 
scene one feels that the locale has got the better of the 
human problem, which almost gets lost in the settings 
and the gabble they naturally call forth. Scene I, Act I 
shows probably the most elaborate laundry ever put on 
the stage, steaming and noisy and engulfing the girl 
and the ailment plaguing her. The next seven scenes take 
place in a shabby tenement, which, alas, always gets in 
the way of the central theme and the central character. 

Even the proletarian background, which swallows the 
play, has grave deficiencies of delineation. Mr. Kingsley 

DRAMA 403 

may have had first-hand contact with the proletariat, 
but he still writes about it from above, as a life sub- 
scriber to Spur magazine would describe a group of East 
Side urchins playing in the park. His Dead End showed 
the same condescension and lack of insight. The story 
there had considerable slickness, but that did not hide 
its pulp character. 

Similarly with the story of Virginia and John in The 
World We Make. The "earthy" talk and happenings in 
their flat seem designed to bring forth tears and sighs, but 
they have little relation to actual proletarian life. Down- 
town, as uptown, girls do not run to neighbors to boast of 
their pregnancy, men do not suddenly become mush in 
public when offered a job after two years of unemploy- 
ment, women in love with their husbands do not habitu- 
ally insult them before others, and a decent man, even 
after having just returned from viewing the corpse of his 
brother, doesn't throw back at his sweetheart the cup of 
coffee she has offered him in the endeavor to make it 
easier for him. 

Such things create a lot of " action" on the stage, some- 
times pleasant to watch for the moment, as when Margo, 
who plays the part of Virginia, does the acting. But they 
smell more of invention than of honest observation. 
Falseness, even about the miseries of the lowly, always 
pays the same penalty: it fails to convince. 

The Time of Tour Life, Mr. William Saroyan's new play, 
presents even more serious doubts than his first, My 
Heart's in the Highlands. A series of sketches of the goings- 
on in a San Francisco saloon, its thin story has to do with 
a wealthy patron, a chronic dipsomaniac, who hands out 
largesse to nearly all and sundry, and who finally rescues 
a prostitute by throwing her into the arms of a somewhat 


thick-witted protege of his. All the characters spring out 
of ancient vaudeville programs the phony cowboy 
who talks big and mooches drinks, the newsboy who 
thinks he can sing, the big-hearted cop, the society 
couple come to see life in the raw, the young man in love 
who calls up another girl by mistake and tries to date her 
up but lies out of it when she shows up with all her ugli- 
ness, the omniscient bartender, and so on. 

These skits appear on the stage almost precisely as they 
appeared fifteen, twenty, and twenty-five years ago, with 
not a breath of freshness added. The prostitute-rich man 
episode forms one of the most embarrassingly callow 
pieces of drama to have reached Broadway in decades. 
Poor Mr. Saroyan seems to harbor the opinion that all 
prostitutes carry great dreams deep within them, and 
that a little kindness from a stranger immediately brings 
those dreams out. 

The whole script oozes cheapness. Eddie Bowling does 
his best by the dipsomaniac, but five minutes after the 
curtain rises, his character collapses in the tedious lines, 
and thereafter the entire evening mounts in boredom. 
Toward the end, when the ineptly cast Julie Haydon, 
who plays the prostitute, starts to climb over Mr. 
Saroyan's extraordinarily undistinguished writing, the 
play almost shrieks for a doctor to save it. 

ONE HOPES SAMUEL RAPHAELSON, author of Skylark, fully 
appreciates what Miss Gertrude Lawrence does for him 
every night between 8:45 and 11 at the Morosco. She 
rescues a play that otherwise would have no claim to at- 
tention. A slicky of a story the old one about the ad- 
vertising man who loves his profession better than his 
wife, loses his wife, and then wins her back by loving her 
more than his work, or something like that , its artistic 

DRAMA 405 

fraud shines fully long before the first act has reached its 
"problem." Miss Lawrence, of course, cannot lend it 
honesty or competence, but she runs about so pleasingly 
and speaks her unfortunate lines so quietly that one 
barely listens to what she says and spends the rest of the 
evening watching her. So few women on the stage or 
elsewhere know how to walk and to speak gracefully 
that beholding and hearing Miss Lawrence give rare 

See My Lawyer, by Richard Maibaum and Harry Clork, 
in essence differs little from such other Abbott shows as 
Boy Meets Girl, Three Men on a Horse, and Brother Rat. The 
latter, all Grade B plays, had little to say, but they 
moved swiftly and held together tightly, and thus did not 
overburden an evening. Mere swiftness and tightness, 
however, can become very dull, and that fate has be- 
fallen See My Lawyer. Messrs. Maibaum and Clork have 
had to pay the price of Mr. Abbott's previous successes. 
The story? It's about an impecunious attorney who al- 
most loses his girl in his chase for money, via a wealthy 
but demented client, and in the end wins her back 
after he has learned how much he really loves her, of 
course. Milton Berle gives a good performance as the 
lawyer, and Mary Rolfe gives an even better performance 
as his girl. 

The Straw Hat Revue has many good sketches, especially 
"The Roving Reporter," which in five minutes tells more 
of the cold, harsh beauty of life in lower-middle class 
America than Mr. Kingsley's play does in a whole eve- 
ning. A woman, a plant in the audience, replies to the 
Roving Reporter's questions. She reveals her dream to 
dance before the public sometimes and does a few pa- 


the tic steps. Then she boasts about her family and the 
little fur piece about her neck the fur piece she had 
been saving for these many years, how well it looks on 
her, how genuine it is, and how good she now feels. 

THE 1939 EDITION OF George White's Scandals on the whole 
fails to satisfy, perhaps because such things have become 
pretty commonplace by now, thanks to radio dramas. 
Ann Miller, apparently a newcomer to Broadway, does 
very well with her dances and rests easily on the eyes. 
Ella Logan, the chief dancer and singer of the evening, 
probably needs to take a few more vocal lessons. The 
female rasp doesn't please as much as it did a decade ago. 

LEONARD SILLMAN did an unwitting disservice to the 
memory of the late Sidney Howard by reviving 7 hey 
Knew What 7 hey Wanted, which received the Pulitzer 
Prize fifteen years ago. Hailed as a monumental Ameri- 
can play in 1924, it now seems like a precocious trifle. 
The very capable June Walker did wonders with the 
shadowy character of Amy. 



A History of American Liberalism 

Harcourt, Brace & Company. 422 pages. $3.50. 

MR. FILLER HERE OFFERS the first comprehensive 
study of American liberalism during the past forty 
years. He has brought together much information in 
out-of-the-way sources, shedding light, not only on such 
major figures as Lincoln Steffens, Upton Sinclair, and 
Charles Edward Russell, but also on such lesser figures as 
Henry Demarest Lloyd, John Brisben Walker, and Isaac 
Kahn Friedman. The chapters on the liberal journalists 
of those days deserve special commendation. 

The book, unfortunately, suffers from wobbly writing, 
and its scholarship on several minor points can be chal- 
lenged. Muckraking did not come " suddenly" upon the 
American scene. Emerson, Thoreau, Wendell Phillips, 
and even the Rev. John Wise, in Colonial times, prac- 
ticed muckraking in their own ways. And to dismiss the 
four decades of reformist labors of Senator George W. 
Norris in a few lines, makes little sense and brings into 
question Mr. Filler's knowledge of his subject. 

His general attitude, however, seems sound enough. 
The muckrakers, he points out, gave America a tre- 
mendous push forward. They unearthed corruption in 
the cities, made public the squalor of the stockyards, 
brought the Federal, state, and local governments nearer 
to the people, achieved improvements in housing and 
made the future solution of the problem easier, and 
fought child labor, food adulteration, the medievalism of 
prisons, crookedness in the insurance business, and the 
monopoly of the transportation companies. Thus they 



prepared the way for the mild reforms of President Wil- 
son's New Freedom and the far greater ones of President 
Roosevelt's New Deal. 

Further, they always stressed the importance of the in- 
dividual, never succumbing to the aberration that the 
state has superior rights. When the Russian Bolshevik 
delirium hit these shores, most of the old muckrakers 
refused to be taken in, because they looked upon it as a 
menace to the American principles of political liberty 
and economic self-determination. It took their successors 
twenty years and the colossal fraud of the Nazi- 
Soviet pact to learn the same lesson. 

The muckrakers "undoubtedly . . . fell short of 
completing their work. They retreated in the face of 
organized business' attacks, and they broke down com- 
pletely in their first experience with international 
affairs. But before that happened, they succeeded in 
uniting the country. America, in 1900, had not been a 
union. The cultural spade work of the muckrakers syn- 
thesized it as surely as did the actual spadework of 
transcontinental highways." 


A Poet Views the WPA 

You GET WHAT You ASK FOR. By Norman Macleod. New York: 
Harrison-Hilton Books. 7939. 284 pages. $2.50. 

THIS FIRST PUBLISHED novel by a poet of distinction is, as 
one might expect, written out of an odd assortment of 
poetry and pain, with a deep feeling for both. The 
strange thing is that there should be less poetry in the 
central theme of Gordon Graham, poet, seeking regener- 
ation, than in the subsidiary theme of Frank Klaber, 
candy salesman, sodden with frustration. 

BOOKS 409 

Mr. Macleod shows the artist struggling with nice 
understanding but little strength against those forces 
which have overcome many sturdier workers in less 
difficult fields during the past ten years. But he does not 
confine his exposition to the immediate aura of the cen- 
tral character. He travels from the more eccentric en- 
virons of the Greenwich Village literati, to the day-to- 
day lower-middle-class existence of the Klabers, to the 
establishment, workings and disappointments of the 
Federal Writers' Projects, WPA, to Sonja, the girl who 
has faith in him and whom he marries. 

The WPA, within which Gordon Graham helped 
shout into being a division of writers, became merely a 
temporary financial help. In all other ways the result was 
demoralization. Inter-project politics, off-the-project 
politics, inefficiency, alcohol, personal jealousies all added 
to the unhealthy atmosphere. 

It was particularly bad for the thin-skinned, and Gor- 
don sank into it, then away from it, but always going 

Sonja was climbing the heavy-laden hallways of Har- 
lem as a WPA investigator and she sickened under the 
rigors of the unfair job. Her husband simply drank now, 
and Sonja wavered. It didn't seem as though Gordon 
could ever again find enough self-control to achieve his 
promise as a writer, or even as a livable- with companion. 

But then Sonja met Doctor Heinrich who offered hope 
and the long climb out began. 

In the meantime the "Village" dipsomaniacs try to 
stay sober long enough to collect an inheritance. The 
Klabers continue their futile efforts to live respectably 
and establish a normal home-life. 

Mr. Macleod has painted the Federal Writers' 
Project in unflattering tones but in such a way that the 


onus rests, as it should, on the narrow shoulders of in- 
dividual self-seeking. The chicanery is something apart 
from the end to be served by and the continued need for 
the project. 

While not a particularly pleasant book You Get What 
You Ask For is of definite moral and literary value. It 
makes quick and absorbing reading and should be on the 
list of all who are interested, pro or con, in the Federal 
Art Projects and in the lives of sensitive people. 

Mr. Macleod writes well with a fluid style only occa- 
sionally interrupted as the poet jostles the novelist unex- 


AMERICA FACES SOUTH. By T. R. Tbarra. New York: Dodd, Mead <2? Co. 
1939. 321 pages. $3.00. 

Farrar and Rine hart. 1939. 241 pages. $2.50. 

It is a common complaint made by the more sensitive of our in- 
tellectual patriots that British writers have a sad habit of visiting 
these United States for a brief, and generally lucrative, holiday, and 
then returning to their native shores to write exhaustive and highly 
critical books on America and Americans. Understandably enough, 
we object to the habit. Yet it is a trait that, not admiring in others, 
too many of our own writers have taken on. 

No less than forty-seven books dealing with the countries south of 
us have passed over this reviewer's desk in the past three months. To 
say that nine-tenths of them were bad would be an understatement. 
A typical example is Miss Reek's magnum opus, Puerto Rico and the Vir- 
gin Islands. It reads like a combination guide book, child's history, 
and a shopping column written by Lucius Beebe. It blushes when the 
Virgin Islands are mentioned, and makes a pun. . . . 

It is something more than a relief, therefore, when a competently- 
done work such as Mr. Ybarra's appears. Here is an author who not 
only knows his subject, but understands it as well. Graphically, Mr. 
Ybarra presents the background and present political and economic 
condition of each of the twenty republics south of us; he analyzes not 

BOOKS 411 

only the problems of these countries, but the problems the United 
States must somehow solve in future dealings with them. This is no 
colorful travel brochure, no 1940 imitation of the Richard Harding 
Davis-O. Henry school. Rather it is a factual and much needed sur- 
vey that probes beneath the surface, uncovering much that Ameri- 
cans have heretofore ignored or misunderstood. If our future rela- 
tions with our southern neighbors are important, it is clear that we 
must acquire a better knowledge of those with whom we are to deal. 
America Faces South is an excellent guide to that knowledge. 

WORDS THAT WON THE WAR. By James R. Mock and Cedric Larson. 
Princeton University Press. 1939. 37 2 pages with index. $3.75. 

Here, in the light of another European war, is a particularly timely 
book for sober and thoughtful Americans. There have been reports 
and surveys aplenty on what the last World War cost the United 
States in blood and money. Blame for that war has been placed on as 
many heads as blame for this current horror. To what cause and pur- 
pose America eventually intervened is still a subject of acrimonious 

Here, however, is a detailed account of how the American mass 
mind, once our neutrality was ended, was swept into a fanatic, fight- 
ing mood. Here is the first extensive study of the cynical workings of 
the Creel Committee. Three-quarters of the records of the Commit- 
tee of Public Information were mysteriously destroyed, but from the 
remaining fourth authors Mock and Larson have painstakingly 
compiled a devastating record of the liberties taken with the mind of 
man in wartime. 

For the Committee of Public Information denials to the con- 
trary was in actuality a government agency for censorship and 
propaganda. And in those fields its powers were almost without 
limit. Regimentation of newspapers and magazines was but an ele- 
mentary phase, in an astoundingly short time the power of the CPI 
touched and tainted every aspect of American life. In universities 
scholars and professors were engaged in rewriting German history to 
breed a synthetic hate. From their pulpits men of God described in 
obscene detail the "rape" of Belgium, and beat the drums of war. 

Soon the motion picture industry, under the direction of the CPI, 
was turning out propaganda films. At its first showing, The Kaiser, 
The Beast of Berlin, jammed traffic on Broadway. The radio was not 


perfected twenty-five years ago, but in its place the Creel Committee 
organized a vast group of four-minute men who swept through the 
country, selling Liberty Bonds, selling hate, selling war-lust. They 
spoke not only in theatres and schools, but in churches, synagogues, 
Sunday schools, lumber camps, lodges, labor unions, social clubs, 
and even gatherings of Indian tribes. In New York City alone, 1,600 
speakers addressed 500,000 people each week in English, Yid- 
dish, or Italian. 

That was nearly a quarter of a century ago, but the history of that 
period is repeating itself, and not in Europe alone. The Beast of Ber- 
lin has been brought up to date, and is once again being shown in 
the nation's movie houses. Here and there churches re-echo to the 
old hymn of hate. In books and magazines, various economists are 
proving with facile figures that neutrality is more "expensive" to a 
nation's economy than war. True, there is no official Committee of 
Public Information in operation today. But the machinery of the CPI 
has not been allowed to fall into disuse. It is ready and waiting. 
Words That Won the War should be required reading during the in- 

FROM NAZI SOURCES. By Dr. Fritz Sternberg. New York: Alliance Book 
Corp. 1939. 208 pages. $1.75. 

Here is one of the more important books for those interested in 
current European affairs. The actual internal condition of Germany 
industrially, economically, and agriculturally has long been 
a subject for debate in numerous books and magazine articles, 
today it is a more vital subject than ever before. Using official Nazi 
statistics and reports as his source material, Dr. Sternberg presents a 
bleak picture of Germany's actual condition at the outbreak of the 
present war. True enough, both industrially and economically, 
Germany was prepared for war, but industry and economics both 
need supplies to function properly. Just which of those supplies are 
lacking, and how serious that lack is, Dr. Sternberg details concisely 
and objectively, using Germany's state at the start of the first World 
War for purposes of comparison. Germany has but two- thirds of the 
man-power available for war service that it had in 1914. It lacks gold 
reserves and credit in foreign countries. The nation as a whole is 
badly undernourished; food-cards are being used at the outbreak 
of a war rather than at the end. Essential raw materials are lacking, 

BOOKS 413 

particularly iron ore and oil, both important necessities in modern 

Few if any of these materials, Dr. Sternberg believes, will be sup- 
plied by Russia. While the Soviets' industrial and agricultural poten- 
tialities are vast, they are as yet undeveloped. There is no ready 
surplus awaiting Hitler's hand. 

It should be remembered that this book was compiled before the 
outbreak of the war. An Hungarian adaption was suppressed, at 
Germany's instigation, as early as last August. Neither wishful think- 
ing nor British propaganda, the book is well worth study. 

MY LIFE. The Autobiography of Havelock Ellis. Boston: The Houghton 
Mifflin Company. 1939. 647 pages. $3.75. 

They who seek inside information about Ellis's books will find very 
little here, but they who seek to get close to the complex of dreams, 
fears, hopes, agonies, bewilderments of one of the gentlest, most 
charitable, and most useful men of the last hundred years will dis- 
cover in this volume an unfailing source of genuine inspiration and a 
vast reservoir of beauty. Mr. Ellis knew almost from the beginning 
what he wanted to do, and he did it all his life without haste yet 
without rest. His work was his play, and his play was his work. He 
says: "I can only play. What would be called work was for me simply 
the atmosphere in which I lived, and there is nothing to say about 
it because it was omnipresent." His great Studies in the Pyschology of 
Sex gave him "a deep, calm joy," because he had done something he 
alone could do. His motive in the writing of it was that he "always 
instinctively desired to spiritualize the things that have been counted 
low and material, if not disgusting; and where others have seen all 
things secular, I have seen all things sacred." His relationship with 
his wife forms the major subject of his autobiography, because love 
formed the major subject of his life. Before they were married long, 
he discovered that she was a Lesbian, but his love as distinguished 
from passion for her increased rather than decreased. "What I 
experienced with this woman I feel now many years after her 
death was life. She was the instrument that brought out all those 
tones which the older I grow I feel to be of the very essence of life, 
tones of joy sometimes, but oftener of anguish, not happiness." Few 
love stories of modern times equal in beauty that concerning Ellis 
and his wife. 


BOOKS THAT CHANGED OUR MINDS. Edited by Malcolm Cowley & 
Bernard Smith. New York: Doubleday, Doran & Co. 1939. 285 pages. 

Twelve writers discuss twelve books of the past forty years which 
they think influenced modern thought. The writers include Charles 
A. Beard, Max Lerner, Louis Kronenberger, Rexford Tugwell, 
Lewis Mumford, and Paul Radin, and the books include Freud's 
The Interpretation of Dreams, The Education of Henry Adams, Turner's 
The Frontier in American History, Dewey's Studies in Logical Theory, 
Lenin's The State and Revolution, and Parrington's Main Currents in 
American Thought. All the books mentioned, needless to say, are 
worth reading, but whether many of them really influenced our 
times is questionable. Most of them only influenced small cliques of 
literati and smaller cliques of professors. Besides, most of the authors 
who discuss these books have amazingly little to say about them that 
is fresh. The contributions by the editors are perhaps the feeblest in 
the volume. Mr. Cowley who supplies the foreword and the after- 
word stutters along to no end, and Mr. Smith's essay on Parrington's 
work forms one of the most ignorant, opinionated, and sloppily 
written discussions of him that has yet appeared in print. Mr. Smith 
writes like a pompous little instructor in a Southern university. The 
two best essays are by Dr. Beard on Turner and Mr. Kronenberger 
on Henry Adams. But Dr. Beard only repeats what he said about 
Turner many times before, and Mr. Kronenberger's paper the 
only one that has literary grace proves that the book he discusses, 
The Education of Henry Adams, has had almost no influence on anybody 
at any time. 

MARXISM: AN AUTOPSY. By Henry Bamford Par he s. Boston: The Hough- 
ton Mifflin Co. 1939. 300 pages. $3.00. 

A severe criticism of Communist ideology and especially of the 
practices of the Russian Communist Party, not only under Stalin 
but also under Lenin. On the whole, Dr. Parkes thinks that the Com- 
munist idea has shown itself to be basically false, and among the 
Soviets has proven itself a hindrance to human happiness, far in- 
ferior as an instrument of progress than Western democracy. Whether 
one agrees with Dr. Parkes or disagrees, one must admit that he 
presents his case with considerable cogency, even though his prose 
style leaves much to be desired. 

BOOKS 415 

AMERICA'S HOUSE OF LORDS. By Harold L. Ickes. New York: Harcourt, 
Brace & Co. 1939. 21 4 pages. $1.50. 

The thesis of Mr. Ickes, Mr. Roosevelt's Secretary of the Interior, 
follows: "In my credo with reference to our newspapers is embedded 
the sincere belief that if editorial direction were left to editors and 
reporters there would be little occasion for criticism. With rare ex- 
ceptions the attitude of that newspaper is unsocial whose publisher 
belongs to the moneyed class and whose primary objective is to 
make money." He goes at the press with his well-known sarcasm and 
satire, and makes full hits more often than he misses. Though there 
is not much new in the book, at least to newspaper men and honest 
sociologists, it will probably have a salutary influence among the 
general public. 

WORKERS ON RELIEF. By Grace Adams. New York: Yale University 
Press. 1939. 344 pages. $3.00. 

The author, a psychologist, has taken a highly controversial sub- 
ject, and has dealt with it both objectively and skilfully. Already, too 
many millions of strongly partisan words have been written about the 
success or failure of the WPA. Miss Adams, however, has brought a 
refreshing impartiality to bear on the subject; by means of case his- 
tories she presents the advantages and disadvantages, in terms of 
human values, of the various Federal projects. More important, the 
book is a much needed reminder of the impetus responsible for the 
WPA and the creation of "made work" that during the past four 
years has furnished employment for some three million men and 
women. For the WPA was not an "economic experiment." Prima- 
rily, it was an attempt to keep decency and self-respect alive. It has 
been called a paternalistic gesture. Possibly it was. It may yet be too 
Utopian to suppose that a Government can protect its people with 
jobs in time of peace, as well as with arms in time of war. 

Yet an attempt was made, and it is of this attempt that Miss Adams 
writes. Wisely, she avoids both the economic and political ap- 
proaches, concentrating instead on a cross-section of lives vitally 
affected by the WPA. She writes with sympathy and understanding; 
not only does she give a clear picture of the intricacies of the WPA, 
but she presents as well a half dozen skilfully done portraits of work- 
ers on relief the good, the bad, the indifferent. 


GIST OF ART. By John Sloan. New York: The American Artist's Group. 
1939. 346 pages. $3.75. 

Mr. Sloan has here written an unusually interesting autobiog- 
raphy. A large part of the volume is made up of reproductions of his 
work from the very beginning, together with his own comments 
upon it in the light of his future development and in the light of other 
artists' works. The honesty of the author throughout is apparent. 
He also has much to say about art under totalitarian whether 
Fascist or Communist and democratic governments. He thinks 
that real art is impossible in totalitarian states, but "in this relatively 
democratic country today, I feel that, since we can talk about things 
freely, we can go on painting any kind of subject matter we like." 

FORCES IN AMERICAN CRITICISM. By Bernard Smith. New York: Harcourt, 
Brace & Company. 1939. 401 pages. $3.00. 

Mr. Smith's attempt to chronicle and appraise the critical forces in 
American literary history, unfortunately, serves no purpose save to 
make public his own ineptness for the job. His knowledge of the sub- 
ject leaves very much to be desired, he writes a gross and tortured 
English, and such opinions as he has either make no sense or are of 
dogmatism all compounded. He says that certain of the Colonial 
writers are "literally painful to read today," which remark offers a 
fair picture of the critical cast of his mind. 

Of THE NORTH AMERICAN REVIEW, published quarterly at Concord, New Hampshire, 

for October 1, 1939. 

Before me, a Notary Public, in and for the State and county aforesaid, personally appeared I. Harvey 
Williams, who, having been duly sworn according to law, deposes and says that he is the Business 
Manager of THE NORTH AMERICAN REVIEW, and that the following is, to the best of his knowledge 
and belief, a. true statement of the ownership, management, etc., of the aforesaid publication for the 
date shown in the above caption, required by the Act of August 24, 1912, as amended by the Act of 
March 3, 1933, embodied in section 537, Postal Laws and Regulations, to wit: 

1. That the names and addresses of the publisher, editor, managing editor, and business managers 
are: Publisher, The North American Review Corporation, 420 Madison Avenue, New York, N. Y.; 

Editor, J. H. Smyth, 420 Madison Avenue, New York. N. Y.; Managing Editor, , ; 

Business Manager, Irvine Harvey Williams, 420 Madison Avenue, New York, N. Y. 

2. That the owners are: Edgar B. Davis, Luling, Texas; Walter B. Mahony, New York, N. Y. 

3. That the known bondholders, mortgagees, and other security holders owning or holding 1 per 
cent or more of total amount of bonds, mortgages, or other securities are: None. 

4. That the two paragraphs next above, giving the names of the owners, stockholders, and security 
holders, if any, contain not only the list of stockholders and security holders as they appear upon the 
books of the company but also, in cases where the stockholder or security holder appears upon the 
books of the company as trustee or in any other fiduciary relation, the name of the person or corporation 
for whom such trustee is acting, is given: also that the said two paragraphs contain statements em- 
bracing affiant's full knowledge and belief as to the circumstances and conditions under which stock- 
holders and security holders who do not appear upon the books of the company as trustees, hold stock 
and securities in a capacity other than that of a bona fide owner; and this affiant has no reason to 
believe that any other person, association, or corporation has any interest direct or indirect in the 
said atock, bonds, or other securities than as so stated by him. 

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 29th day of September, 1939. 

EDITH M. HEMALA, Notary Public. 
(My commission expires March 30, 1940.)